Blog posts from September 2007

Unique women-only space under threat

by Jess McCabe // 28 September 2007, 21:03

Guest post and photo by Laura Kidd The future of the Lambeth Women’s Project is under threat from Lambeth Council, who are currently challenging the use of the building on Stockwell Road. LWP has been offering specialist services to women...

Hungarian prostitutes to be given entrepreneur permits

by Jess McCabe // 28 September 2007, 16:48

Hungarian prostitutes will be allowed to apply for "entrepreneurial" work permits, reports WayOdd and M&C. Prostitution was already legal in Hungary, making it a target for sex-slave traffickers. I am not one of these people who supports the legalisation of...

Cartoon on Internet Women

by Louise Livesey // 28 September 2007, 10:02

As a little light-hearted, Friday-frivolity go to the xkcd.com comic for today - and then wish it were true.......

Sex slavery not just confined to big cities

by Samara Ginsberg // 28 September 2007, 09:20

The Times today has a report suggesting that sex slavery is expanding into leafy areas such as Cambridgeshire and Gloucestershire. The victims' stories are all-too-familiar: Young woman is lured to Britain with the promise of legitimate work, but on arrival...

Polish women's candidates strip off

by Jess McCabe // 27 September 2007, 23:30

A new political party has emerged in Poland, to champion the rights of women, reports the Telegraph. The Women's Party puts issues like equal pay, public funding for contraception and access to abortion at the centre of its platform. But...

Four more days to fill in advertising survey

by Jess McCabe // 27 September 2007, 13:55

Have you filled in our survey on whether The F Word blog should open up to advertising? The survey will close at midnight on 30 September, and we will collect the responses, muse over what you have said and make...

Is anorexia a feminist issue?

by Jess McCabe // 27 September 2007, 12:05

Is anorexia caused, or exacerbated, or linked in any way to images of rail-thin catwalk models, actresses and other women who are held up to us as examples of what it means to be an attractive woman? We've considered this...

Trafalger Square Installation on Trafficking

by Louise Livesey // 27 September 2007, 09:31

From 22nd to 30th September Trafalger Square is home to a photographic installation about the realities of trafficking. For those who can't make it the website has preview materials....

Discussion of men as feminists

by Louise Livesey // 27 September 2007, 09:19

Apparently this old chestnut is raging around the blog-o-sphere so I thought I'd refer to this article which has a pretty good inventory of the recent posts and debates. Especially as the conclusion is a very reasonable: To that end,...

Hot on the heels of the government dropping plans to allow expert witnesses to appear in rape trials to discuss the aftermath of attacks on women (and y'know why women might appear unaffected, why they might not tell people, why...

Feminists fightback (again)

by Jess McCabe // 26 September 2007, 21:47

Feminist Fightback is organising a free conference on Saturday 20 October, to take place at the University of East London. With the tagline "we're still here, we're still angry, we're still fighting", the conference is now in its second year....

According to the results of a Love@Lycos survey of 125,000 single people, more than 60% of men wouldn't mind if it was revealed their partner had once had a relationship with someone of the same sex. Aside from the question's...

High heels - then and now

by Jess McCabe // 26 September 2007, 16:34

Modern Mechanix has dug out a brilliant clipping from a 1957 story printed in an unknown publication, on the 'benefits' of high-heel wearing. (Via Jezebel) Back then, Dr Reginald Payne noted that high heels can cause bow legs and knock...

More women than men own consoles

by Jess McCabe // 26 September 2007, 14:50

More women than men own games consoles such as the PlayStation, Wii and Xbox, according to a survey reported in MediaPost. The website was so surprised at this finding, it couched it in these terms: ARE MALE VIDEO GAME ENTHUSIASTS...

Marriages end after seven years?

by Jess McCabe // 26 September 2007, 12:20

A Bavarian politician has proposed that marriage should last seven years, after which couples should make an active choice to renew their vows or dissolve their relationship, reports Reuters. Gabriele Pauli is standing for leadership of the Christian Social Union,...

Gender discrimination claims 'overload' employment tribunal

by Jess McCabe // 25 September 2007, 17:04

The employment tribunal system is buckling under the pressure of thousands of women who are bringing claims of gender discrimination against their employers, reports The Independent. According to the newspaper, the number of cases heard by the tribunal doubled between...

Sexy, sexy war

by Laura // 25 September 2007, 11:32

According to American photographer Steven Meisel, the Iraq war, in which women have been raped and killed by soldiers, is the perfect setting for an oh-so-glamorous Vogue fashion shoot. Why? Because rape and violence against women are sexy of course!...

Men Taking Responsibility for Men's Violence Against Women

by Louise Livesey // 25 September 2007, 09:47

Sometimes you read something which makes the vision of the future of the species just a little less pessimistic. Today that was the work by Ben Atherton-Zeman in his one-man show Voice of Men. The show, which is a pastiche...

New Book on Porn Culture

by Louise Livesey // 25 September 2007, 09:05

Robert Jensen has written a new book called "Getting Off" critiquing the porn culture and in particular "gonzo" porn and new forms of extreme porn which are becoming mainstreamed. There is a very cogent article on it here....

Women Doctors Face Glass Ceiling - News Flash

by Louise Livesey // 25 September 2007, 08:51

The Scotsman reports today on research published in the Journal of Medical Education which shows that women doctors seeking the top of their profession (academic research) are still facing workforce practices detrimental to their careers. Despite women now being the...

Do you have the "perfect breasts"?

by Samara Ginsberg // 24 September 2007, 13:44

The Daily Mail never fails to provide choice blogging material, and today is no exception as they present a piece on a cosmetic surgeon who has discovered the formula for the "perfect breasts". Patrick Mallucci spent many hours poring...

I did not ask for it

by Samara Ginsberg // 24 September 2007, 09:20

I had an absolutely horrible experience the other night. I was walking home late at night in a pencil skirt and high heels (this is relevant, I promise) when a man lurking in the shadows leered, "Sexy, seeeeexxxxy" at me...

Annoying word of the day: "tramp stamp"

by Jess McCabe // 23 September 2007, 21:46

Jessica Valenti of Feministing posts about a new term in the misogynist lexicon: tramp stamp. This is apparently a term for lower-back tattoos. I have a "tramp stamp", although it's not my favourite tattoo and will soon be transformed into...

Is porn getting worse?

by Jess McCabe // 23 September 2007, 16:09

The question of the day seems to be: is porn getting more violent and more misogynist? First up, Shalom Auslander describes how the porn popular today differs from the stuff that got him hot as a teenager. What happened? He...

More feminist plays please

by Jess McCabe // 23 September 2007, 15:29

Should theatres put on seasons of work grouped together on the basis that all the plays were written by women? This is the question addressed by the Guardian's theatre blog. It's a variation on an old quandary (do bookshelves dedicated...

Hairy Anniversary

by Laura // 21 September 2007, 16:34

I just realised that it's a year now since I stopped shaving my armpits; over 14 months since I last shaved my legs, and in my eyes that's call for a celebration, even if it does make one of...

How's the petition on women's right to drive going, then?

by Jess McCabe // 21 September 2007, 16:02

As we blogged last week, a new group has formed to pressure the Saudi government to end the ban on women driving. Now MEMRI carries an extended interview with the leader of this movement, feminist Wajeha Al-Huweidar, about plans for...

All women are hardwired - except me

by Catherine Redfern // 20 September 2007, 22:42

It's funny how people make sweeping statements about women and men's nature and then almost in the same sentence, describe something from their own experience which contradicts it - but they don't seem to realise. In October 2007's Harper's...

Tory MP arrested for assault on wife, Party refuses to comment

by Louise Livesey // 20 September 2007, 15:53

Conservative MP for Croydon Central, Andrew Pelling (48), was arrested on Tuesday during an investigation into an assault on his wife, Lucy (26). That the House of Commons would shelter domestically violent people isn't really a surprise. . Mr...

Man waxes his legs in the name of investigative journalism

by Samara Ginsberg // 20 September 2007, 13:46

The Daily Mail has conducted what they appear to think is a groundbreaking experiment in forcing one of its hapless junior reporters to live like a woman for a week. This might be quite interesting had they dressed him in...

New tampon may cut risk of toxic shock

by Samara Ginsberg // 20 September 2007, 13:08

A new study shows that a new tampon coating may lower the risk of toxic shock syndrome. The key to its success: a fiber finish called glycerol monolaurate, or GML, that reduces the production of the toxin that causes menstrual...

Is prostitution a valid career choice?

by Samara Ginsberg // 20 September 2007, 09:31

Today's Guardian has published responses and opinions from lots of distinguished media types about the forthcoming TV adaptation of Belle de Jour and about prostitution in general. I was going to provide a few choice quotes, but it's all so...

Another feminist carnival out now

by Jess McCabe // 19 September 2007, 16:23

The 45th Carnival of Feminists is out now, over at Feminist Philosophers. As well as linking one of Samara's posts, there's plenty of great reading material, as per usual. I particularly liked this post from redjenny about a co-operative bank...

Warsaw has blocked plans for a Europe-wide anti-death penalty day, and instead called for an event to protest abortion and euthanasia, the BBC reports. Anti-death penalty day was meant to occur on 10 October. A conference organised by the EU...

Women blamed for being ambitious

by Louise Livesey // 19 September 2007, 12:48

Today's Daily Telegraph carries the headline that Childless women 'hostile to working mums'. Based on a survey of 1,500 mothers childless women are being described as "unsympathetic" to those who have children. But, as with all our research expose's -...

Want Power and Respect - forget it....

by Louise Livesey // 19 September 2007, 10:13

There has been a sad spate of misogyny over the last week. In particular a spate of forgetting that women's career achievements should be remembered above their marital status. Let's start with this morning's Radio 4 shall we. Where Chief...

What are teenage girls really thinking?

by Abby O'Reilly // 18 September 2007, 21:37

Women in journalism today held a conference to discuss the negative body image promoted by magazines for girls and young women, according to an article in The Guardian. The conference, titled, 'Am I Bothered? What are Teenage Girls Really Thinking?,'...

Win pushes women's football into the mainstream?

by Jess McCabe // 18 September 2007, 18:17

Could it be that women's football is becoming a bit mainstream? Maybe this has been going on for ages, but yesterday was the first time I've seen a game make it to the evening news. And the commentator was naming...

Resisters and survivors kick back

by zohra moosa // 18 September 2007, 09:34

Thanks to the End Violence Against Women campaign, we know the statistics: Almost half of all women in England and Wales experience domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking in their life-time Two women a week are killed by their male...

Tories would implement pay audits?

by Jess McCabe // 17 September 2007, 16:53

Tory leader David Cameron has promised to introduce pay audits to reveal wage-based discrimination against women, reports The Guardian. At first glance, this is great news. After all, I've been banging on about these audits for ages. The basic idea...

Legislation only way for women to win the boardroom?

by Jess McCabe // 17 September 2007, 12:10

As zohra blogged last week, the pay gap between men and women is expanding, while only two of the top 100 biggest companies listed in the UK have female bosses. Well, Ethical Investment Research Services has put out a report,...

Death Proof protests

by Catherine Redfern // 16 September 2007, 12:39

Charliegrrl reports on protests in Liverpool and Glasgow about Quentin Tarantino's new film Death Proof. Tarantino has had a doll called "Rapist No 1" made of himself; feminists are angry that this contributes to a rape culture. They claim the...

Scarlet's 'campaign to make feminism fashionable'

by Catherine Redfern // 15 September 2007, 15:58

Inspired by The Fawcett Society's campaign, Scarlet magazine's September 2007 issue (not the one pictured) includes a feature called This is What a Feminist Looks Like, in which four women are interviewed. Scarlet's take on this is kinda interesting:...

Abby Lee in her own words...

by Abby O'Reilly // 14 September 2007, 21:22

Abby Lee, celebrated authoress of Girl with a one-track mind, this week turned her hand to journalism in an article for The Guardian. Titled 'Orgasms for the hell of it,' Lee disects the stigma that continues to be attached to...

Saudi women push for end to driving ban

by Jess McCabe // 14 September 2007, 12:17

Saudi feminists have set up a new group to pressure the Kingdom into removing the ban on driving for women. The new, and wonderfully-named League of Demanders of Women's Right to Drive Cars released a petition (which can be read...

Why the games industry gets women wrong?

by Jess McCabe // 14 September 2007, 11:50

David Gardner from Electronic Arts, the company that brought the world The Sims, among other games, has given a speech pointing out that the industry is failing to get girls and women to play along, reports the BBC. Girl in...

Be sexually attractive or respected - pick one

by Samara Ginsberg // 14 September 2007, 09:37

Rosie Boycott, co-founder of Spare Rib magazine has joined the lads mag debate in The Daily Mail. Every month, magazines such as FHM, and now Zoo and Nuts, serve up page after page of breasts, bottoms and sexual titillation. No...

Get your tits out for the lads!

by Samara Ginsberg // 13 September 2007, 13:38

Decca Aitkenhead has an opinion piece in The Guardian today about female complicity in lads' mag culture. The Nuts website, for example, features a page called Assess My Breasts, inviting men to study photos of naked breasts and rank...

Tesco have it all figured out, ladies and gentlemen: men like music, playing guitar, DJing, watching films, buying cars and, of course, boobies, while women like fashion, gossip, hair and cooking. This invaluable information was imparted to me via my...

R.I.P.

by zohra moosa // 12 September 2007, 21:48

Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop, passed away a couple of days ago. I know lots of people have been turned off by the Body Shop in the past few years, annoyed at how many there are (almost as...

Bolivian women take back cholita

by Jess McCabe // 12 September 2007, 19:17

Can clothes be feminist? Bolivian women are giving it a good go, adopting a 'cholita' look worn by Aymara Indian women, reports Kansascity.com. The seemingly anachronistic style, cribbed from the closets of La Paz’s Spanish colonizers, is the daily dress...

Bin the Bunny

by Jess McCabe // 12 September 2007, 15:00

Londoners can't have failed to notice that Playboy is opening a shop on Oxford Street. According to Design Week, the porn emporium will spread over three floors and sell "men’s and womenswear, jewellery and accessories". Vile, right? Well, the good...

Dodgy abortion survey?

by Jess McCabe // 12 September 2007, 12:23

A couple of days ago, the Daily Mail ran a story claiming that "seven out of 10 women want the 24-week upper limit for abortion to be halved". What's not clear until you get to paragraph eight, is that the...

Gender vs race

by Jess McCabe // 12 September 2007, 09:07

zohra has a really interesting article up at Catalyst about the pressures on ethnic minority women to align over race, rather than sex, and some of the implications of that. At an individual level, the decision is pragmatic – based...

FHM publish topless photos without subjects' consent

by Samara Ginsberg // 11 September 2007, 13:46

FHM have surpassed themselves by printing a topless photograph of a 14-year-old girl. The Press Complaints Commission said the photograph, included in a gallery of mobile phone snapshots, was a "serious intrusion" into the girl's privacy and had a "significant...

Sports bras let women down

by Samara Ginsberg // 11 September 2007, 09:42

Finally, somebody seems to have noticed that having breasts can really get in the way of women participating in sport, as The Times reports. An estimated 60 per cent of women suffer breast pain during exercise — even during gentle...

Think twice before you apply cosmetics to your ladyparts

by Samara Ginsberg // 11 September 2007, 09:42

The Guardian today has a report on the growing concern about carcinogens in cosmetics and beauty products. Although none of these links have been proven, and the cosmetics industry is doing some serious damage limitation ("absolute nonsense," says Dr Christopher...

Something worth reading in the Observer Woman...!

by Catherine Redfern // 10 September 2007, 21:35

Massive kudos to Jess McCabe, our fabulous editor, who appeared in The Observer Woman on Sunday in an article on "The New Feminists" which also featured other inspirational women, all under 30. There is a growing wave of feminism...

Police actually take rape accusation seriously.

by Laura // 10 September 2007, 15:34

Shocked? With police officers assuming that around 23% of rape allegations are false, despite the figure being the same as for the majority of other crimes (3%), you'd be well within your right. Your shock will no doubt be banished,...

Government May Move to Criminalise the Purchase of Sex

by Louise Livesey // 10 September 2007, 09:38

According to the Guardian, the government are considering criminalising the buying of sex following concern about the international trafficking in women. Currently it is not a crime to sell or buy sex but is a crime to solicit for custom....

Women like gadgets, dislike electronics shops.

by Louise Livesey // 10 September 2007, 09:08

Amazing new findings from Saatchi and Saatchi are that women do like electronic and gadgets but dislike the rampant laddism and butch heterosexuality of electronics shops. It's apparently news that women don't spend money in shops where they are treated...

Is this real?

by Louise Livesey // 10 September 2007, 08:34

OK so it may be a wind-up, but if so someone took a lot of time over this... Imagine a website where parents can "list" their teenager daughters for marriage based on the biblical notions of "bride-price" and arranged marriages....

Pregnant women to get £120 each; lose jobs

by Jess McCabe // 9 September 2007, 19:35

All pregnant women are to receive £120 to spend on fruit and vegetables, reports The Observer. Yet for the 30,000 women who lose their jobs every year when they become pregnant, as the paper also reports, this will surely be...

Carnivals Up

by Louise Livesey // 7 September 2007, 08:25

There are new Carnival's up at these pages: Carnival of Radical Feminism Carnival Against Sexual Violence is up here. With special mention to the two F Word blog posts that get a mention which are this one on sexual violence...

Pay me equally

by zohra moosa // 6 September 2007, 22:58

It has not been a good week for the struggle for equal pay. According to research from the Chartered Management Institute and from Remuneration Economics, the gender pay gap for managers of all levels across Britain has widened for the...

An Indiana University research team have concluded that while women look for financial security and long term commitment in a potential partner, men are most likely to go for more attractive women. Yes, folks, based on a whopping sample size...

New Features! New Reviews!

by Jess McCabe // 5 September 2007, 16:44

As promised, the second set of features and reviews for September is now up and ready for you to read! First up, Catherine Redfern reviews Impeach My Bush by Peaches. All I can say is this: I downloaded the album...

Glad to be grey?

by Samara Ginsberg // 5 September 2007, 10:03

The Times today has an interview with Anne Kreamer about her decision to stop dyeing her hair at the age of 50. Kreamer used to spend a jaw-dropping $300 at least once every three weeks on having her hair dyed....

Knocked Up is sexist tripe - Queenan

by Jess McCabe // 4 September 2007, 23:43

I've been a Joe Queenan fan since reading If you're talking to me, your career must be in trouble. But I love him a bit more after reading his column on the misogyny of the film Knocked Up and other...

Australian Zoo in most offensive competition ever

by Jess McCabe // 4 September 2007, 21:58

If you have heard of Australian men's magazine Zoo Weekly, it's probably because they once offered a boob job as a competition prize. Obviously that wasn't offensive enough, because they have now launched a competition to find "Australia's sexiest feminist",...

Body hang-ups not just for women?

by Abby O'Reilly // 4 September 2007, 17:23

From the moment we recognise we have breasts, we are invested with insecurities that will plague us for the most part of our adult lives. Are they too small? Too big? oddly shaped? Is one of our tits bigger,...

Spanx sell "slimming" underwear to the seriously underweight

by Samara Ginsberg // 2 September 2007, 20:16

Spanx make "shaping", "slimming" and "smoothing" underwear - horribly uncomfortable-looking 21st century nylon corset contraptions that make Bridget Jones' infamous big pants look positively skimpy. Make of that what you will. What makes me angry about this is that according...

We want your opinion on advertising

by Jess McCabe // 2 September 2007, 16:13

The F Word has always been an ad-free space. But, with the development of BlogHerAds, and other possibilities for feminist-friendly ads, we are considering placing a limited number of ads on the blog, and other potential ways to raise revenue....

Exposing dodgy research

by Jess McCabe // 1 September 2007, 22:35

You may have read reports about some research purporting to prove that Jessica Alba "has the perfect wiggle". It was covered in the Telegraph, for example. "A team of Cambridge mathematicians" apparently "found that it is the ratio between hips...

Edit the Guardian's women's pages for a week

by Jess McCabe // 1 September 2007, 19:56

The Guardian is running a competition to edit the Women section of G2 for a week. The competition celebrates the women's pages 50ths anniversary, and opened back in July (thanks Dollymix), but there are only a few short weeks to...

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
  • #
  • #