Weekly Round-Up and Open Thread, 16th July 2012
Philippa Willitts // 16 July 2012
Here we have the stories that we haven’t been able to cover during the week, but which we wanted to share. We don’t agree with, or endorse, everything we link to. They may be included for interest or a different perspective. Some links may be triggering, and outside sites are not always safe spaces, so please be careful if you are feeling vulnerable in any way.
If you have any more links you would like to share, please do so in the comments.
- At a time when you’d expect him to be rather busy, Boris Johnson has been renaming a London police department so that it sounds less girly. Whatever that means. God forbid the police force should challenge a culture of masculinity in even a really small way (Political Scrapbook).
- It’s been a week of discussing rape jokes. First, Cookies for Breakfast wrote about going to see Daniel Tosh do stand-up who, after she challenged a rape joke he made, said, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her…”. Then Laurie Penny on Twitter drew attention to a rape joke made in the Metro by Richard Herring, who describes responding to a heckler by saying, “You’re a bit talkative, aren’t you? You’re loquacious. It’s annoying. You’re the one woman in the world where a man would put Rohypnol in your drink and then leave you in the pub”.
- In this Guardian article, Daniel Tosh apologises, but other comedians come out to defend making jokes about rape.
- From the Telegraph, Disabled children four times more likely to be victim of violence: study. The author of the study explained that, “The impact of a child’s disability on their quality of life is very much dependent on the way other individuals treat them”.
- From The Guardian, Lesbian Super Pac to spend big in fight for gay and women’s rights. The article describes how Billie-Jean King and Jane Lynch are among stars backing LPAC, which says it will back candidates who share its equality mission.
- Sarah Ditum issues a call for having Olympic sportswomen as pin-ups, rather than “‘naturally skinny’ celebs” (Guardian).
- Cringeworthy ‘getting it wrong’ of the week, from Gawker: Utah Magazine Celebrates Its (White) ‘Women of Color’
- Feminists have protested against the Shanghai Metro warning female passengers to dress ‘in appropriate clothing’ to avoid perverts, from China Hush.
- A really thoughtful and thought-provoking post from Chally at Zero At The Bone about acknowledging difference without othering.
- The Telegraph reports that a Mayor in Germany has introduced “easy” parking spots for women. They are “wider and well lit, while those for men are close to concrete pillars and can only be reversed into”.
- From Liberal Conspiracy, a report that the abortion witch-hunt earlier this year, where Andrew Lansley forced the Care Quality Commission to drop everything and do spot-checks on abortion clinics has flopped in Lansley’s face. The Guardian, on the same story, report that doctors broke abortion law in 13 NHS trusts.
- Also from the Guardian is a report about a new law in Turkey which will fine doctors if they carry out elective caesareans. The Turkish government is concerned because the country has one of the highest rates of caesareans in the world, however the president of the Turkish Gynaecologist and Obstetrics Association asks, “How can a law decide when a patient requires a certain treatment? This is against medical ethics, and the art of medicine in general. Turkey will set a very negative example with this law”.
- An Indian campaign is confronting the prevalence of female foeticide. Activists are concerned that the issue is competing for attention and is not being tackled.
- Teenage girls ask Teen Vogue to stop using Photoshopped photos and, as Gawker puts it, Teen Vogue asks them to STFU.
- From Gay Star News, the French Senate have unanimously voted to outlaw transphobic discrimination. Michelle Miller, Socialist Party Senator said, ‘Transgender people have alerted us to high frequency of harassment and assaults they experience, particularly during the transition period that can last several years. It seems necessary to me to complete the law on discrimination and to add recognition of transphobia’.
- Participants are needed for a research project about disability and sexuality.
And I will end this round-up with some music to start your week. This is the quite exceptional Valentina Lisitsa playing Liszt’s La Campanella. You can see more of Valentina’s work on her YouTube channel.
[The image is two smiling women from Nepal, one wearing blue and the other red, holding a cardboard sign on which “Equal?” is handwritten. It was taken by World Bank Photo Collection and is used under a Creative Commons Licence]