Friday afternoon round up

// 14 March 2008

Womenspace posts an update on Southall Black Sisters’ unfortunate funding situation. It is particularly saddening to read that Refuge is apparently making a bid for the £100,000 of funding that SBS would very likely have received otherwise:

Given its annual income, its bid for the £100,000 represents a ‘drop in the ocean’, but the same funds will make all the difference to our work with black and minority women. Its attitude displays a patronising, unprincipled and indifferent approach to our struggles as black and minority women.

Shakesville continues its series on “funny” items that involve disembodied women. The “Bitchcruiser” is an attachment for a bicycle in the image of a naked woman, impaled on the frame. Click through at your own risk.

South Africa’s Times newspaper, reports on a horrific increase in “corrective rapes” – i.e. male pupils raping lesbian pupils on order to “cure” them.

Sunny posts a link at Pickled Politics to a news story on men from the UK, US and Canada who travel to India and marry local women, scoop the hefty dowry and then leave, never to be seen again:

The men get married to vulnerable and unsuspecting Indian women – but shortly after the formalities have been completed, they return to the countries where they hold citizenship, often never to return.

Needless to say, they take huge dowries with them – often up to $60,000 – and renege on promises to begin the immigration process that would enable their wives to join them.

To make matters worse, many of the men who do this are already married.

Meanwhile, Fred Vincy at Stone Court reports on how people attempt to police attempts to break from the “gender orthodoxy”, by persuading parents and guardians to dress their small daughters in pink:

Yesterday, the owner of Baby’s day care, with whom we have become very friendly, bought Baby some clothes and shoes. This was very kind and appreciated. But everything was pink, a circumstance she mentioned. (I think she even said, “pretty in pink”.) Implication: That baby doesn’t wear enough pink.

And then we get to this story in the Telegraph, on a survey which found that 54% of men would not date a woman earning more than £25,000. The “ideal” salary range starts at £10,000 a year.

I find this entire exercise extremely creepy.

Most men ranked “blue eyes” as the most important attribute followed by “long blonde hair”, with “occasionally wears glasses” as third.

Intelligence was not a priority, but she must be “very good looking”, have a “wacky personality” and “be optimistic”.

It’s not all completely depressing news, though! The Christian Science Monitor reports on a refuge for girls who want to escape female genital mutilation.

Five years ago, when Millicent was 13 years old, her father told her it was time to leave school and get married. But first, he said, the Masai adolescent must be circumcised.

Millicent had her own ideas; she had learned at a recent village workshop about the dangers of female circumcision and early marriage. But her family was unsympathetic. “I was circumcised, your mother was circumcised,” her grandmother told Millicent. Fighting back tears, she explains, “In my community, it is difficult for a girl who is not circumcised to get married.”

Today, after a cousin who helped her run away, Millicent lives at the Tasaru Girls Rescue Center in Narok. There, she has continued her schooling and received an alternative rite of passage – part traditional rituals, part health class – which she hopes will allow her to be accepted by her community, if not her family, in the future.

(Via Jezebel – I guess they got over this bullshit about FGM being funny)

More from Sinclair at SugarButch Chronicles, too, who posts (NSFW) a rant against female masculinity from Craigslist, although I’m linking because of this moving response

Photo by cmt2779, shared under a Creative Commons license

Comments From You

chem_fem // Posted 14 March 2008 at 8:34 pm

I just don’t get the 54% of men not dating women earning over £25k. Firstly that is not an especially big salary, and secondly there is all the ‘to do’ that some men make about women being gold diggers.

I find it funny that one of the most ‘masculine’ men I know is out earned by his g/f by at least twice what he earns, and is completely happy…. and this guy is REALLY competitive!

james // Posted 15 March 2008 at 12:49 am

Chem_fem £25k is the median salary for men employed full time. It is rather a lot of money by most people’s standards.

Suzi K // Posted 15 March 2008 at 9:09 am

The link to Sugarbutch left me shocked that there are actually people out there thinking that way. The response from The Closet Musician left me in tears.

Thanks for the links Jess.

chem_fem // Posted 15 March 2008 at 10:16 am

James – but that’s my point. If it is slightly over average pay (I read a couple of years ago the average salary as being £22k) then it isn’t an ‘especially’ big pay packet.

Slightly over average isn’t a lot of money by most peoples standards if half the population is earning above it (and presumably a few more earning around that amount).

Maria // Posted 16 March 2008 at 6:01 pm

chem_fem – just because £25k is the average, it doesn’t mean that 1/2 (or anywhere near that figure) the population earn more than that.

The average is skewed upwards by the people on huge salaries of up to several £million. In fact, the majority of the population earn quite a lot less.

Lynne Miles // Posted 16 March 2008 at 6:48 pm

Maria – that would be true if we were talking about a mean average, but the figure James gave (£25k) was a median average. The stats geek in me has just gone and looked up the data for this. The “average” (mean) wage for full-time workers in England and Wales is actually £34,386 (as you say, skewed upwards by a handful of very high earners), but the median (where half the population earn less and half more) is £26,585. I’m surprised at that – like you, I would have though the median was lower. Of course it is lower for women, where the median is £20,546 and the mean £24,308. Source: 2007 Annual Survey of Hours and Employment from Nomis

Jennifer // Posted 17 March 2008 at 11:49 am

Just to point out, the survey was done by “, which studied members’ data to come up with the results”

So, I really wouldn’t say that it was very representative.

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