Rounding up on Sunday

// 29 March 2009

A US congressman is pushing legislation to restrict the role of first lady.

Millenium Development Goal 5, to improve maternal healthcare and meet some specific targets: making access to reproductive healthcare universal by 2015 and slashing the maternal mortality rate by 75% on 1990 levels by 2015, looks unlikely to be met. Charlotte Cooper reports for Women’s ENews on a debate which explored how the situation could be turned around.

Stuff White People Do considers what’s wrong with saying “I don’t care if you’re black, white, brown, purple, green…”

Kirsty at Other Stories eagerly anticipates the latest Sarah Waters novel, due out in 66 days…

Renee deconstructs some of the issues around calling for women to focus their activism on portrayal of men as stupid in the media.

The New York Times considers why mother characters in Hollywood films are cast with actors as young or sometimes younger than the actors meant to be playing their sons.

Also in the NYT, a story about Jewish women having a bat mitzvah in their 90s – the coming-of-age ceremony is a relatively new introduction, by a US rabbi in the 1920s, and wasn’t common practice when these women turned 12, so they’re doing it now. (Via Feministing)

Across the pond, the Women, Action & the Media conference has kicked off, and there are plenty of people tweeting, liveblogging and otherwise talking about the conference and the panels… here’s a selection:

Feministe on a rape culture panel…

WIMN’s Voices on a panel about women in the economic crisis…

Kerri Kanelos covering a panel on gender, nonconformity & the media…

Renee considers how accessible the conference really was, given the price tag of tickets

Comments From You

kinnerfon // Posted 30 March 2009 at 12:04 am

I’d noticed the actresses playing mothers are mostly the same age as sons (New York Times link). Even older- women- lovers are actually only 5 years older than the guy.

In the guardian link from that, something was said about how this was to do with misogyny and insecurity. Reassuring men of their everlasting youth, and of the realisation of an ultimate fantasy of ‘getting that girl young enough to be your daughter’. Which is spot on….

Men getting portrayed as stupid in the media – Uh what planet is this? I don’t want to go there, but for a change from this planet, maybe. Women presented in the media I see are the ones who seem to barely have two brain cells to put together. They smile blankly like boring dolls; or welcome their husbands home like robots.

Maybe in the 90s there was an advert or two portraying men as stupid. But it’s barely like the ads portraying women as sex objects – these are constant, intrusive, intentionally sexist, there’s no joke to them, it’s life and ‘how we should see women’. These calls to feminism are just the same attempts to shift attention to straws and as ever, to the more privileged sex.

Alison Clarke // Posted 30 March 2009 at 7:16 pm

I am a UK-based freelance journalist who was so fed up with the bias against women in the news that I have set up a women’s online news and current affairs service – I am desperately looking for writers (and readers for that matter) and wonder if you could give it a mention on your blog. Many thanks. Alison

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