Round up!

// 17 April 2008

Women’s studies are not dead after all! The Independent runs a story featuring our very own Louise. As well as tackling the inaccuracies in previous coverage, this is interesting:

Around half of York’s intake is made up of overseas students, who come from countries in Asia and the Middle East where the subject isn’t available. And according to Dr Ann Kaloski-Naylor, the department’s head of admissions, interest in women’s studies seems to be picking up: it’s a far cry from the grim picture of terminal decline painted by recent reports.

Nojoud Muhammed Nasser is only eight years old, but she is filing for divorce from her 30 year-old “husband”. From the Feminist Majority Foundation:

Nasser arrived to court by herself because no one in her family defended her against her abusive husband and father.

Nasser told the Yemen Times, “My father beat me and told me that I must marry this man, and if I did not, I would be raped and no law and no sheikh in this country would help me. I refused but I couldn�t stop the marriage. I asked and begged my mother, father, and aunt to help me to get divorced. They answered, ‘We can do nothing. If you want you can go to court by yourself.’ So this is what I have done.”

The Telegraph reports on a 13 year-old girl in India who is about to become a prostitute:

The normal rate is 100 rupees (£1.30) but a virgin is sold to the highest bidder for anything over 20,000 rupees. If she is very pretty, the community would hope to get up to 40,000 rupees. For this, the man can have access to the girl for as long as he likes – several hours, days, or even weeks. When he tires of her, there is a celebration. Because it is considered unlucky for a girl to keep the money from her first time, it is spent instead on an extravagant party.

Once in prostitution, these girls will be expected to “see” 20-30 men a day and support a whole extended family. (Via Jezebel)

Hoyden About Town points out an idiotic commenter who tries to claim that a London pub is an “an adult only sexualised social space” and, ispo facto, if a woman enters a pub she should expect to be sexually harassed.

Fay Wheldon is “her own backlash”, observes Sarah Barnes over at Uplift! Magazine. Sarah went to see Wheldon speak at Brunel University, and shares her mixed reaction to insights like these:

What does Weldon actually think of Feminism? “I think it’s a continuing good idea,” Weldon responds “But the problem with Feminism is that you have to make it up as you go along. There are no party headquarters.”

(Thank fuck for that, some of us might say!)

The Churner Prize – a blog which casts an amused eye on the journalists that simply “churn out” stories based on press releases – notes that both the Daily Mail and Telegraph printed a virtually-unedited release by an outfit called the Christian Institute, arguing that Google is facing a “backlash” for apparently blocking ads for religious pro-life websites. No evidence required.

A Maryland court has ruled that if consent is withdrawn during sex, and someone does not stop, it is rape. Cara from The Curvature considers the full implications of this eminently sensible decision, as well as the outrage prompted by the notion that consent can be withdrawn at any time.

Sinclair’s latest post is interesting as usual:

I kept wondering, over and over: If I reject misogyny as part of masculinity, part of “butch,” then what’s left? Masculinity is, in so many ways, simply defined as not-woman; what else does that identity hold? And what does it mean for me to adopt it, to become it, to be it?

Dollymix notes that “at least 20” of 200 nominated for Time’s list of the top 100 influential people are women. Hurrah!

On the US elections, Queer Woman of Color reminds us that it is not “about time” there was a black candidate or a female candidate:

The time, folks, has come & gone & has been past due for many many moons. This country has been overdue for a minority candidate for a long while & by now we should have had a bisexual, transgender, half Asian, half Black, half Dutch, half Jewish, wheelchair using former mental health patient by now. For the love of gawd people stop staying it’s about time. No one gives a shit that you think you sound so progressive and tolerant. You don’t.

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