Blog posts from July 2007

A reality check for anti-choicers

by Jess McCabe // 31 July 2007, 22:01

'Pro-lifers' call for abortion to be criminalised. They stand outside clinics where the procedure is performed and harass patients and staff. But if abortion was outlawed tomorrow, what would the penalty be for women who had one anyway? Check out...

Civil Partnerships for all!

by Lynne Miles // 31 July 2007, 18:11

The papers are reporting today on new proposals from the Law Commission that unmarried couples living together should be given the right to make legal claims to property and pensions after separation. There are problems with the system as it...

The truth behind the talk

by Abby O'Reilly // 31 July 2007, 16:03

Have you ever been told that you 'sound gay?' Or have you ever been in the company of a person who has been subject to the same observation? It's likely that the vast majority of people have experienced this...

Women still the target of sexual violence

by Abby O'Reilly // 31 July 2007, 15:46

Traditionally women have always been considered the ‘fairer sex,’ although unfortunately this, instead of allowing us some sort of protection from violence and sexual assault, has made us more vulnerable and susceptible to it. The treatment of women in...

Iran and US unite against women's rights treaty

by Jess McCabe // 31 July 2007, 15:43

Today the BBC runs a story noting that the only thing the US and Iran seem to agree on is not ratifying an international treaty calling for the elimination of discrimination against women. So why won't Iran join the Convention...

We all want an alpha-male, apparently...

by Abby O'Reilly // 30 July 2007, 18:12

Good news female comrades. Ever wondered what heterosexual females look for in a partner? Well, think no further, as the answer has arrived from an unlikely source, a man named Daniel Miessler, who has attempted to unlock the enigma...

Russian girls take on the world of computer gaming

by Abby O'Reilly // 30 July 2007, 17:46

When someone mentions computer gaming, what images does this traditionally evoke? Groups of sweaty teenage boys enthusiastically fighting over the hand control on a sunny Saturday afternoon, crowded together in a tiny, curtain-drawn room, where one cannot but be...

Maternity – Britain’s Best Employers

by Lynne Miles // 30 July 2007, 14:46

The Guardian has published results of its survey of 250 of the country’s leading employers and their provision for parental leave. They believe that it is the first survey of its kind. Parental leave is something of a black spot,...

Mail annoys on princesses, gender stereotypes

by Jess McCabe // 29 July 2007, 21:14

Reading the headline to this story in the Daily Mail, you'd be forgiven for conjuring up images of Paris Hilton-esque princesses having a tantrum on a 747: Arab princesses kicked off British Airways plane to jeers and whistles after refusing...

Global peace index ignores violence against women

by Jess McCabe // 29 July 2007, 19:15

An index ranking countries on their peacefulness fails to take into account violence against women, reports the Christian Science Monitor. Norway tops the index, which was compiled by a commercial offshoot of The Economist magazine. The UK comes 49th, with...

The problem with Beowulf

by Jess McCabe // 27 July 2007, 19:32

Ordinarily, I would be quite pleased to hear about a new film version of the Old English poem Beowulf. And it would be easy to get excited about the latest adaptation: the screenplay was co-written by Neil Gaiman, for a...

Well I never

by Lynne Miles // 26 July 2007, 11:11

Seems like I was wrong. Sometimes even the Daily Mail can pleasantly surprise you....

Disney's war on boys' self esteem?

by Jess McCabe // 25 July 2007, 22:08

Disney may be responsible for giving many millions of girls a series of weak, tiny waisted, overwhelmingly-white princess role models, but what effect do the films have on boys? This video (via Women of Color), looks at the images of...

Introducing our new guest blogger... zohra moosa

by Jess McCabe // 25 July 2007, 15:56

Eagle-eyed readers will have spotted that we have a new blogger. zohra moosa is to join us for a guest blogging spot here at The F Word over the next three months, and she has already got off to a...

Guides set out new priorities

by Lynne Miles // 25 July 2007, 10:37

To make sure they stay relevant in today’s modern world, the Guides have polled their members to find out what it is that kids today really want to learn about. And I have to say that young women today sound...

The Gender Agenda

by Lynne Miles // 24 July 2007, 13:17

The Equal Opportunities Commission has today published a report saying that equality between the sexes is ‘generations away’. ‘The Gender Agenda’ highlights a series of key gaps in equality, and estimates the length of time until they are redressed, according...

… more things not to do with breasts

by Lynne Miles // 24 July 2007, 10:17

#3 – breastfeed Following my last post about the woman berated by the bus driver for putting her breasts in his eyeline, Anj Green has emailed to point out that #3 on the list ought certainly to be breastfeeding:...

Let's toast a more diverse Guardian Women

by zohra moosa // 21 July 2007, 10:32

I read with pleasure last Tuesday’s G2 headline celebrating 50 inspirational years of Guardian women. Published on the centenary of Mary Stott’s birthday, it was a welcome toast to women journalists, women editors and critical, reflective, feminist writing on politics...

Latest feminist carnival out now

by Jess McCabe // 18 July 2007, 20:09

The 41st Carnival of Feminists is up at Kate Smurthwaite's Cruella-Blog. As usual, it's packed full of great reading material, and indeed listening material, as it includes a link to our very own podcast. I particularly like this photo-blog dedicated...

Commission tells European males to shape up

by Jess McCabe // 18 July 2007, 17:09

The European Commission has warned that men must take on more housework and childrearing duties, in order to help close the pay gap, EUObserver reports. Europe-wide, women earn 15% less than men, only a 2% improvement in the last decade....

Ghana girls lured back to school with better loos

by Jess McCabe // 18 July 2007, 16:46

A project in Ghana is seeking to increase girls' school attendance by installing better loos, notes A. from A Changing Life. Plan International is behind the project, and has more information. Apparently girls often stay away from school when they...

Anthology to raise awareness on violence against women

by Jess McCabe // 18 July 2007, 16:33

Remember Khalil Aswad? She was the 17 year old Kurdish girl stoned to death in Iraq for her relationship with a Sunni Muslim boy. Her death was videoed and circulated on the internet, prompting shocked responses from right-thinking individuals such...

Harman sets out priorities for women

by Lynne Miles // 18 July 2007, 14:45

Harriet Harman speaking in the House of Commons yesterday set out the priorities that she and Barbara Follet (they are the Ministers for Women) have agreed (you can read the transcript here). These are divided into three strands: helping families...

50 years of the Guardian's women's pages

by Jess McCabe // 18 July 2007, 11:44

The Guardian's women's page celebrates its 50th anniversary today. The women's section takes over the G2 supplement for a special edition, packed with articles dug out of the archive and musings on its history, purpose and usefulness. The current editor,...

Stop giving them the oxygen of publicity!

by Louise Livesey // 18 July 2007, 08:33

At the height of the IRA troubles you weren't allowed to interview a suspected IRA member - they had to use actors reading transcripts. It was known as refusing to give them the "oxygen of publicity". Can't we now advocate...

Saudi women set back by night-owl hours?

by Jess McCabe // 17 July 2007, 17:20

Saudi women tend to sleep during the day and stay up all night, according to the blog Sand Gets in My Eyes. A byproduct of a society which limits female independence and job opportunities, SGIME argues that this night-owl behaviour...

Things not to do if you have breasts #2

by Lynne Miles // 17 July 2007, 16:43

A German bus driver recently threatened to throw a woman off his bus if she didn’t move out of his eyeline, because her breasts were distracting him. The bus driver in question shouted down the bus at the unfortunate women,...

Are Lad Mag's Porn?

by Louise Livesey // 17 July 2007, 16:05

Subvertising reaches new heights with the adaptation of lads mags cover reversing the gender roles. So are they porn? More here...

Steinem calls out "prick flicks"

by Jess McCabe // 16 July 2007, 22:47

Gloria Steinem calls attention to the sexism of the term "chick flick" in a post over at the Women's Media Center. If we have chick flicks, Steinem proposes, we should have "prick flicks" as well (shortened for length): The simple...

Yoyo Girl Cop

by Jess McCabe // 16 July 2007, 22:31

Here's one to look out for at the cinema: Yoyo Girl Cop, or Sukeban Deka. Based on a popular manga series from the late 70s to early 80s, Tokyomango describes it like this: What's not to remember about a hot...

BBC debate on FGM

by Jess McCabe // 16 July 2007, 15:14

A BBC debate on whether enough is being done to halt female genital mutilation has produced a heart-breaking number of comments from women who endured this brutal practice. The Urban Feminist has picked out some of these responses, which are...

Girls play violent games too

by Jess McCabe // 15 July 2007, 00:15

Teenage girls overwhelmingly play video games, including violent games such as Grand Theft Auto, reports Indystar.com. In a survey of 1,254 US teenagers, only 80 had not played any video games in the last six months. If you're thinking some...

Interview with Michele Roberts

by Louise Livesey // 14 July 2007, 09:47

The Guardian has interviewed feminist writer Michele Roberts here....

Feminist magazines

by Jess McCabe // 13 July 2007, 10:22

Of course, regular readers will already know about all the feminist magazines that have launched in the last 18 months, but here's a feature I wrote on the subject for The Guardian....

A French division of make-up giant L'Oréal has been found guilty of racial discrimination and ordered to pay a €30,000 fine, reports The Guardian. L'Oréal instructed a recruitment agency - which has also been fined, and a "senior figure" given...

Knee replacements just for women

by Jess McCabe // 12 July 2007, 08:18

Firms in the US are marketing knee implants specifically designed for women, reports Orthopedic Technology Review. Currently, women are fitted with implants designed for men - but this causes some pain and discomfort: Hitt explains his involvement with Stryker. "In...

Two bits of UK news

by Louise Livesey // 11 July 2007, 12:26

Under 16s are to be banned from modelling during London Fashion Week and Baroness Kingsmill, who is heading up the enquiry into practices in the modelling world has admitted that "There was strongly expressed concern that it is profoundly inappropriate...

Report on Prison and Women - Mixed Feelings

by Louise Livesey // 11 July 2007, 11:58

Loraine Gelsthorpe, Gilly Sharpe and Jenny Roberts have published a report saying that community sentences for women should be tailor-made to keep them out of jail. Writing the report on behalf of the Fawcett Society it is argued that:...

Jane Magazine Closes

by Louise Livesey // 11 July 2007, 11:56

Sad news, the US feminist publication Jane has ceased printing. More on this here....

African Leaders Call for Safe Abortion

by Louise Livesey // 11 July 2007, 11:46

Representatives of the governments of ten african nations have called for legalisation of safe abortion in their countries and across Africa. They are, of course, partially hand-tied by the President Bush's withholding of any funding to charities which promote or...

New anti-pornography blog

by Louise Livesey // 11 July 2007, 11:38

Anti-Pornography Activists (or those wanting to do sometime on this) should check out this new blog - 101 Things to Do to Combat Pornography. A random selection of suggestions include: 23. Write your government representatives and elected officials, (mayor, members...

'Nice guy' rapists should get off lighter - Australians

by Jess McCabe // 11 July 2007, 08:50

A survey of Australian men and women has revealed that "nearly all" believe that rape is less serious if it's committed by a "nice guy", or one who is sexually frustrated, if the woman is drunk or wearing revealing clothing,...

Thatcher 'una bella gnocca' - Berlusconi

by Jess McCabe // 10 July 2007, 22:15

Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has called Margaret Thatcher una bella gnocca, or a "great piece of pussy", reports The Independent. Not that I'm one to praise Thatcher, well, pretty much ever. But I guess this goes to show...

Researchers at the University of Arizona have indicated that women do not talk more than men. As one of the researchers states, the notion that women are the chatty ones has become "part of the cultural mainstream" so I'd...

The F Word podcast: episode one!

by Jess McCabe // 10 July 2007, 21:19

[The podcast went down some time yesterday - if you were one of the people who could not download it, you should now be able to] Welcome to the first ever F Word podcast! A couple of weekends ago, bloggers...

Tories would use tax system to promote marriage

by Jess McCabe // 9 July 2007, 12:59

Tory leader David Cameron would shake-up the tax system to benefit married couples, in an attempt to keep mums and dads together, reports The Independent. I feel like a broken record writing about this again, but it's hard for me...

Sex Discrimination is alive and kicking....

by Louise Livesey // 9 July 2007, 11:53

You know how we got the Sex Discrimination Act and the Equal Pay at Work Act and now the Gender Equality Duty? Well apparently it doesn't mean much because (and this is a word of warning to the wise) it's...

Deborah Siegel Podcast

by Louise Livesey // 8 July 2007, 16:32

MojoMom has interviewed Deborah Siegel, author of Sisterhood Interrupted: From Radical Women to Girls Gone Wild for her podcast series - listen here....

Young Women and Pay Discrimination

by Louise Livesey // 8 July 2007, 16:26

It was often argued, after the Equal Pay Act, that as women entered the workforce in larger numbers pay discrimination would decline. It wasn't true which is why Yvonne Roberts' response to Zoe Williams' article on collective action is a...

Rape crisis centres face closure

by Jess McCabe // 8 July 2007, 00:52

As many as half of the Rape Crisis centres in England and Wales may have to close because of lack of funds, reports The Guardian. Nicole Westmarland, the chairwoman of Rape Crisis in England and Wales said the organisation "really...

New Features! New Reviews!

by Jess McCabe // 7 July 2007, 19:36

'Honey! Your vagina needs a mint' The Vagina Institute purports to provide a public service to curious women. But Samara Ginsberg detects a rather different agenda Buying gunk When the latest anti-aging cream hit the shelves, queues of women scrambled...

Sun Woman says "Stop Rape Now"

by Lynne Miles // 5 July 2007, 15:59

The Sun Woman has launched a ‘Stop Rape Now’ campaign, calling for better funding for rape crisis centres, more specially trained police officers and CPS barristers, a dedicated 24-hour telephone helpline for victims and an increase in the number of...

Check the latest Feminist Carnival

by Jess McCabe // 5 July 2007, 10:59

The 40th issue of the Carnival of Feminists is up now, at the hidden side of the leaf. This one has a book theme, so anyone with a serious addiction to paperbacks might want to rush over or steer clear,...

Less than a week into the job, and the UK’s first female Home Secretary is drawing rather more attention for her cleavage than her – calm, confident and professional – manner in dealing with the recent spate of terror attacks....

Nadia Yassine is the spokesperson for an illegal opposition group in Morocco. Check out her interview with Speigel Online on an Islamic type of feminism. I speak for a different culture, the Islamic one. Our religion is very much friendly...

Left-Wingers Dislike Thatcher Shock!

by Louise Livesey // 4 July 2007, 09:39

Sarah Sands has written an impassioned defence of Margaret Thatcher as a woman and a feminist. Definately of interest although her "comparisons" with Harman owe more to ideology than sincere debate....

Something tells me Betty wouldn't approve

by Jess McCabe // 2 July 2007, 20:54

VH1 is planning to make a reality TV show based on Ugly Betty, according to TV Squad. It is called America The Ugly, inspired by ABC's Ugly Betty, and will attempt to find out what happens when real unattractive,...

Israel's former president Moshe Katsav will not be tried for rape, after accepting a plea bargain which will see him admit lesser counts of sexual harassment, reports The Guardian. Understandably outraged by this announcement, as Israel's attorney general had said...

Violence Against Women in the UK

by Laura // 2 July 2007, 03:01

V at reSISTERance posts an ever needed reminder of the extent of violence against women in the UK. Good fodder for antifeminists who claim feminism is now redundant, too. The list of stories taken from the BBC website is hard...

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