Blog posts from March 2007

Daily Express launches feminist blog

by Jess McCabe // 30 March 2007, 23:56

The Daily Express has launched a feminist blog, under the auspices of journalist Lauren Thompson. Yes, it was a surprise to me too. Of all the unlikely folks to enter the universe of feminist blogging, the Daily Express, best known...

German girls to be given cervical cancer vaccine

by Jess McCabe // 30 March 2007, 17:55

Germany is the latest country to recommend the use of the HPV vaccine to protect girls against cervical cancer, Speigel International reports. The German Standing Vaccination Committee (STIKO) officially recommended Monday that all girls between the ages of 12 and...

Amnesty International UK supports abortion rights

by Abby O'Reilly // 30 March 2007, 17:05

With the prospect of more stringent abortion laws being introduced in the UK looming over us like a black spectre, and reaffirming the archaic stigma attached to women who choose to have a termination, it is reassuring that Amnesty...

New features and reviews on The F Word!

by Jess McCabe // 29 March 2007, 23:08

This month, our update comes a bit early because of preparations to host the 35th Carnival of Feminists on 4 April. There's still time to get your submissions in, either by using our comments form or by filling in the...

97% of British women say Size 12 is too fat

by Jess McCabe // 29 March 2007, 22:38

An incredible 97% of British women think those who wear a Size 12 are "officially overweight", according to a poll in New Woman Magazine. But before I get on to that mind-boggling statistic, let's see how The London Paper covered...

An equation for prostitution?

by Jess McCabe // 27 March 2007, 16:45

Economists have come up with a mathematical equation which they say explains prostitution, reports The Guardian. The other economists concentrate on gender, pay and the "nature of forgone earning opportunities of prostitutes and clients". But, say Della Giusta, Di Tommaso...

Misogynistic rapper Snoop Dogg has been denied a visa to enter the UK on his European tour with Sean ‘Diddy’ Coombs, reports Yahoo! News. Snoop will be contesting the decision as the pair apparently "feel strongly that the uniting message...

Nigerian students held to ransom for grades

by Jess McCabe // 26 March 2007, 22:01

Male lecturers and schoolteachers in Nigeria routinely pressure girls for sex in return for passing grades, reports the Washington Post. When Nigeria's education minister faced an audience of 1,000 schoolchildren, she expected to hear complaints of crowded classrooms and lack...

Novelist Muriel Gray has said that the entrants for the Orange Prize for women's fiction lack imagination and are too personal in their focus, The Independent reports. Can I just say right away: why have they got an author who...

Polish woman denied abortion receives compensation

by Abby O'Reilly // 26 March 2007, 18:57

A Polish woman has been awarded 25,000 euros ($33,000; £16,000) in damages by the European Court of Human Rights after she was refused an abortion to the detriment of her eyesight, according to a report by the BBC. Alicja Tysiac...

Feminism Makes You Sick...

by Louise Livesey // 26 March 2007, 10:56

Research from Sweden has shown that egalitarian societies also suffer from greater rates of poor health than non-egalitarian societies. The study, published in Social Science and Medicine, compared data from all of Sweden's 290 municipalities. They used nine indicators of...

They were talented, so do looks really matter?

by Abby O'Reilly // 25 March 2007, 18:07

Barbara Ellen, in an article in The Obsever today, denounces Hollywood for its “prettying up” of historical women, and their distorted portrayal in the adaptations of their life stories to the silver screen. Ellen’s article is interesting in that...

Older mothers blamed for the rise in low birth-weight babies

by Abby O'Reilly // 25 March 2007, 16:00

A recent report by the Fabian Society, ‘Born Unequal,’ claims that career women who delay having children until they are older and better established professionally are responsible for the rise in low birth-weight babies, according to an article in The...

Women in South Carolina forced to see their foetus in-utero

by Abby O'Reilly // 25 March 2007, 13:49

A pregnant woman wishing to terminate her pregnancy in South Carolina would be forced to view ultrasound images of her foetus before completing the abortion, if the recent bill proposed by the lawmakers comes to pass. A recent report by...

Feminism? No, not today

by Abby O'Reilly // 24 March 2007, 19:08

Last Thursday, as part of Women’s History Month, students at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh were encouraged to spend the day pretending that the feminist movement had not occurred, according to a report on the University’s student newspaper. This was...

Ladyfest Leeds 2007

by Abby O'Reilly // 24 March 2007, 16:59

If you’re looking for something exciting (that also complements your feminist sensibilities) to do this April, the solution is at hand in the form of Ladyfest Leeds. From Tuesday 10th to Sunday 15th April there will be a diverse...

Today in body fascism... Kate Moss

by Jess McCabe // 23 March 2007, 19:18

Londoners who picked up The London Paper were confronted by this photo of Kate Moss on the front page: For readers who can't see the caption, it says: Millions of women can allow themselves a satisfied smile today at the...

The naming of spouses is a difficult thing

by Jess McCabe // 23 March 2007, 14:57

More and more men are chosing to take on their partner's name when they get married, according to a report in USA Today. As Donna and Mike entered their wedding reception, an unwitting announcer told the expectant crowd, "Ladies and...

Feminist Carnival comes to The F Word

by Jess McCabe // 22 March 2007, 12:54

In three weeks time, The F Word is going to play host to the 35th Carnival of Feminists. For readers who aren’t familiar with this project, the Carnival is a twice-monthly celebration of the feminist blogosphere, collecting together posts from...

From the blogosphere

by Jess McCabe // 21 March 2007, 22:45

Cassandra Says has declared this the week of female desire. In response, the feminist blogosphere has posted up lots of images of folks they find sexy. For example, Anti-Essentialist Conundrum and Renegade Evolution. Meanwhile, Women's eNews has a really interesting...

Experts recommend vaccinating all teens against STIs

by Jess McCabe // 21 March 2007, 22:25

All teenagers should be inoculated against the human papilloma virus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease which causes cervical cancer, according to specialists quoted in an Independent story The vaccine should be bundled up with five others in a comprehensive programme...

Disney's first black princess

by Jess McCabe // 21 March 2007, 01:32

Disney is to produce its first animation featuring a black princess, as reported on CNN. Called The Frog Princess, the movie will be set in "Jazz-age New Orleans". John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Disney and the Disney-owned unit Pixar...

Buffy's back

by Jess McCabe // 20 March 2007, 21:42

Season eight of Buffy the Vampire Slayer has just started. OK, the TV show itself isn't back on our screens, but creator Joss Whedon has revived the story of the Slayer one last time in a series of comics. Issue...

Two hundred years ago, the British Parliament outlawed the slave trade. As part of the events going on to mark the anniversary, the BBC is running a series of features on modern slavery. Every year, around 4,000 women are trafficked...

"Uber-hausfrau" movement sweeps Germany?

by Jess McCabe // 18 March 2007, 13:56

An uber-hausfrau movement is sweeping Germany, according to a report in Spiegel International. Das Eva Prinzip, sub-titled Towards a New Femininity, by Eva Herman, is apparently behind the "movement", and Spiegel describes it as "full of anti-feminist anger". Based on...

F Word Update

by Jess McCabe // 17 March 2007, 15:13

Lifting the veil on mothers and daughters Mother's Day is an extravaganza of flowers and cards. But Rosjke Hasseldine asks why no one is paying attention to real mother-daughter relationships...

Spain to introduce 'Law of Equality'

by Abby O'Reilly // 17 March 2007, 13:35

The Spanish parliament recently announced plans for a new law, which will be implemented at the end of March, which aims to encourage women to enter the political sphere and the world of commerce, according to a report by the...

From weightlifting to "pussy cyclones"

by Jess McCabe // 17 March 2007, 11:26

Teenage girls in Florida are competing in weightlifting contests, and loving it, according to the New York Times. “It might not have been the most, like, girly or cool thing,” said Hannah Feliciano, a willowy freshman at Sarasota High School...

Tories to give tax breaks to married couples

by Abby O'Reilly // 17 March 2007, 09:54

David Cameron has promised that money raised from taxing air travel will be used to introduce tax breaks for married couples, according to a report in The Independent. He hopes to initiate these tax schemes as a way of not...

Clinton "sounds like a bitch"

by Jess McCabe // 16 March 2007, 15:50

Hilary Clinton should not become the next president of the US because her voice makes her sound like a "bitch". Or so says Glenn Beck, a right-wing radio DJ, recently hired by CNN. Because what America needs is more misogynist...

Def Poetry Reminder for Men

by Louise Livesey // 16 March 2007, 11:02

It's not often we get to include performance art on the blog but here is a Def Poetry (a bit like Slam Poetry) reminder to men about what being a man means.......

Minister proposes boys' bookshelf in schools

by Jess McCabe // 15 March 2007, 14:40

Alan Johnson, our education secretary, has proposed that school libraries should be stocked with a special shelf of books with "fighting, spying and sporty working-class heroes" aimed at boys, The Guardian reports. The aims of the proposal are laudable: Every...

Feminism 101

by Jess McCabe // 15 March 2007, 09:22

New to feminism? You might want to check out this Feminism 101 blog. Constantly updated, the blog collates posts from the feminist blogosphere to answer questions typically posed by those who are new to discussions of gender equality. The only...

Odds and ends

by Jess McCabe // 14 March 2007, 23:01

Abortion Rights is collecting stories of some of the one in three women who will have an abortion over their lifetime. The stories may be different from the ones you're used to hearing in the media. They are not sensational,...

The Rabbi's guide to oral sex?

by Jess McCabe // 14 March 2007, 18:04

Here's an interesting column over at Faithhacker about whether oral sex for women is permitted under Jewish law. Although some of the arguments are rather unfortunate/utterly misogynistic - for example, comparing women to meat and fish - I suppose you've...

Women's prisons should be abolished - Labour peer

by Jess McCabe // 14 March 2007, 17:29

Women's prisons should be shut down for good, according to a report out today. The government ordered Baroness Jean Corston to undertake the report in the wake of six deaths at Styal prison, and she has concluded that the current...

Feminist rates songs about women

by Jess McCabe // 14 March 2007, 16:55

Over at the Guardian today, Laura Barton has awarded 10 songs about women a score out of 10 based on their feminist chops. Destiny's Child comes in with the highest score at nine out of 10, for Independent Woman. Independent...

Sisterhood is brutal - new form of empowerment?

by Louise Livesey // 13 March 2007, 11:59

Catfight is a new form of entertainment - skimpily dressed women, who in their publicity shots pose in quasi-pornographic stances, and box for the audience wearing tight white bra tops and short shorts. Just to reinforce this is women the...

Dear readers...

by Jess McCabe // 13 March 2007, 08:24

I'm working on a feature about feminist activism in the UK - if you're up to something interesting, please get in touch. You can email me at jess@thefword.org.uk...

Boo hoo

by Jess McCabe // 12 March 2007, 15:46

Men working in the public sector are seeing their salaries cut by up to £15,000 a year in order to bring them into line with female colleagues, The Times reports. Although the point of equal pay legislation should surely be...

Children in 14 schools will be introduced to books with gay and lesbian characters. The Guardian reports on some of the books to be included in the pilot, which will extended across the country if successful: King & King A...

"This is what a feminist looks like..."

by Abby O'Reilly // 10 March 2007, 18:03

For those unfamiliar with the Fawcett Society, it is an organisation that has been working to try and bridge the gap in equality between men and women since 1866. Their t-shirt campaign has attracted the attention of the national press,...

Update on pelvic exam post

by Jess McCabe // 9 March 2007, 16:59

Yesterday I blogged about this story of gynaecology students in the US being trained to perform exams on unconscious women who had not given their consent. I asked a recently-qualified doctor friend of mine whether or not this happens in...

Catching up with the blogosphere

by Jess McCabe // 8 March 2007, 22:18

If, like Zoe Williams of The Guardian, your feelings about International Women's Day are a bit "meh", check out this videoblog by Jessica Valenti of Feministing to remind yourself what it's all about. And while you're in video-watching mode, watch...

It turns out that up until recently it was common practice in the US for medical students to practice pelvic exams on unconscious female patients before surgery, without their consent. Rachel over at Women's Health News has the full story,...

More on the Newham Record gangrape comments

by Louise Livesey // 8 March 2007, 10:56

Tom Duncan, the reporter who likened watching a football team lose to watching someone you like get gangraped, has written a follow-up comment to the story available here. In it he says It would be indeed be outrageous and absurd...

Blog against sexism

by Jess McCabe // 8 March 2007, 09:08

Today is Blog Against Sexism day, and it's as good excuse as any to interrupt usual blogging to do something on gender discrimination. Of course, we can't do that, because we blog against sexism every day. All that is...

High School girls suspended for saying "vagina"

by Abby O'Reilly // 7 March 2007, 18:49

A New York public high school has made the headlines for their controversial banning of the word “vagina,” according to a report by NBC. Three 16-year-old girls at Josh Jay High School in Cross River, New York, were recently...

Rape victim sentenced to 90 lashes

by Abby O'Reilly // 7 March 2007, 17:15

A nineteen-year-old Islamic woman who was kidnapped and repeatedly gang raped by seven men is to receive 90 lashings as punishment, a report by Fox News has revealed. The woman, who has been identified only as “G,” is to be...

Are we "so over" International Women's Day?

by Jess McCabe // 7 March 2007, 16:00

In today's Guardian, Zoe Williams makes a convincing argument that International Women's Day has been hijacked and diluted until all use has been wrung out of it. Tomorrow in Westminster, Hilary Benn chairs a panel of global experts addressing Women's...

French female chef makes headlines

by Abby O'Reilly // 6 March 2007, 21:45

The French culinary world has been thrown into turmoil recently owing to the success of a female chef, according to a report in The Times today. Anne-Sophie Pic is rapidly becoming a celebrity chef in France, where, in the Rhone...

China condemns Japan over WWII sex slaves

by Abby O'Reilly // 6 March 2007, 11:02

China is calling for Japan to take responsibility for its army’s use of female sex slaves during the Second World War, according to a report by the BBC. The Chinese Foreign Minister, Li Zhaoxing, made the claim following the recent...

Creepy retouching software

by Jess McCabe // 5 March 2007, 16:48

Here's a really creepy piece of software that retouches photos automatically. PortraitProfessional takes only five minutes to reconstitute your bone structure along more standard and very caucasian lines, as well as ironing out any individuality in the form of, say,...

Walk highlights black servicewomen of WWII

by Jess McCabe // 5 March 2007, 14:38

Women played a significant role in World War II, but when you think of a service woman of that era, it is likely you're thinking of a white woman. The Imperial War Museum is putting on a walk on 10...

Women turn away from politics, but why?

by Abby O'Reilly // 5 March 2007, 11:02

Women continue to be under represented in the political world according to a report by the BBC today. The number of women standing in this week’s ballot for the Northern Ireland assembly has plummeted since the last poll in 2003,...

His 'n' hers guide to greatness?

by Abby O'Reilly // 4 March 2007, 20:41

Research based on more than 17,000 men and women claims to have identified the key personality strengths to which the average Briton aspires, according to a report in The Independent today. The investigation, led by Dr Alex Linley at the...

Yet another great blog - on the UN

by Jess McCabe // 4 March 2007, 20:40

Did you know that we're in the middle of the UN conference on the Status of Women? If you want to find out more, you can check out Women UNLimited, which is live blogging the conference on behalf of openDemocracy....

Female Firefighters to star in new DVD

by Abby O'Reilly // 4 March 2007, 20:34

Women firefighters in Oxfordshire are to star in an educational DVD to promote gender equality, according to a report by the BBC. An all-female team from the Oxford County Council Fire and Rescue Service will be filmed during a drill...

Working mothers continue to face discrimination

by Abby O'Reilly // 4 March 2007, 20:24

Women continue to be discriminated against in the work place, the Equalities Review has discovered, according to a report by the BBC. The investigation found that a partnered woman with a child under 11-years-old was 45% less likely to be...

Another feature!

by Jess McCabe // 4 March 2007, 20:04

Today I uploaded another feature onto The F-Word. I've also updated the resources section with some new websites and discussion groups. That said, I'm sure there is more out there, so please do use the comment form to email in...

Female genital mutilation - a personal story

by Jess McCabe // 4 March 2007, 19:36

Here's a blog that should be required reading, but I can't help but add a warning that it's not for the faint of heart. Survivance is the story of a Parisian woman who is preparing for surgery to undo the...

According to a report in the independent today, there has been a 21% rise in deaths of pregnant women in the care of NHS maternity services over a three year period. In addition to this, 17,000 women have suffered physical...

Attempted drug rapist out in three months

by Jess McCabe // 4 March 2007, 13:48

A man caught in the act of attempting to drug and rape a city banker has been given a paltry two year sentence. Although police found hundreds of Xanax pills in Rohail Spall's car, and he was found guilty by...

Holestar

by Jess McCabe // 4 March 2007, 11:29

How much of our femininity and masculinity is performance? Holly explored this question a little at a drag king workshop a few years ago. But here's a new spin on it, and what sounds like a fantastic night out as...

Loosing at football = watching gang rape

by Louise Livesey // 4 March 2007, 10:19

According to reporter, Tom Duncan, from the Newham Recorder anyway. To indulge in a little deconstruction here I can only imagine he means that if watching someone be gang-raped he'd pay £50, sit alongside thousands of other gang-rape fans...

Japan denies "comfort women" were forced

by Louise Livesey // 4 March 2007, 10:04

Despite testimony from former soldiers, the Japanese government is continuing to allege that girls and women forced into sexual slavery for the Japanese army in World War II were professional prostitutes rather than victims of violence. Former soldier Yasuji Kaneko...

And more on Britney

by Jess McCabe // 2 March 2007, 15:40

As though the collective opprobrium heaped on Britney Spears wasn't enough, some bright spark has brought out a 'Rehab Britney' doll. The Metro has a photo, complete with this disgusting discription: The doll isn't pulling any of the crazed faces...

SPITLIT

by Jess McCabe // 2 March 2007, 11:19

If you're in London looking for something to fill your time up with over the next week or so, you could do much worse than check out the SPITLIT festival celebrating women's writing. It includes a truely dizzying number of...

New features, new reviews

by Jess McCabe // 2 March 2007, 08:27

Who’s to Say Who Understands Us? From George Clooney to handbag merchant Stuart Vevers, the Observer Woman’s list of the 50 men who “really understand” women gets it badly wrong, argues Joanna Tocher Flicking the Bean Thanks to the media...

Abby recently posted here about the Times article on a discovery that low-fat milk and yoghurt might precipitate female infertility. While I very much agree with Abby that encouragement for women to enjoy indulgent foods for a change is obviously...

Girls and Boys or "Guys"?

by Holly Combe // 1 March 2007, 20:03

Tags: femininity, language, masculinity, sexism

There's an interesting article from Heather Gehlert on Alternet about the generic use of the word "guys" in relation to groups with both genders in. She considers her Dad's critical approach to this common language use and discovers, when looking...

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