Sunday, April 27, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Women's Rights Under Attack Everywhere
In the UK however we can see the next assault on women's reproductive rights coming and we can do something. It seems that the Human Cloning and Embryology Bill is likely to have an amendment proposed which would outlaw abortions after 20 weeks (the current limit is 24 weeks). And we can definitely do something to prevent this going through. Abortion Rights are organising a mass lobby of parliament. It's on May 7th and if you'd like to be involved you can. Here's what to do: Firstly check out the information here. Secondly drop your MP a line telling them you'll be at the mass lobby and asking for an appointment to speak to them. You could actually be speaking to your MP in parliament about this issue. That has to have an impact, so please join us if you can. I am currently volunteering some of my time to help the team out with preparation for this one. Do let me know if you know of people or groups who would like more info who might consider coming along, we want to make a really big impact.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Is America Ready For a Misogynist President?
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Hillary, Boris and Media Sexism
This suitably ridiculous piece from the Independent stands as a case in point. On the pretext of imagining what would happen if women ruled the world they allow misogynists like Terence Blacker to call women dull and humourless. And Dan Snow is given the opportunity to suggest that women left in charge in the past have some sort of bad track record (using such scientific methods as claiming Louis XV was "egged on by his mistress") and of course they trot out Adrian Hamilton to tell us women already are in charge. And if that's true it's rather benevolent of us to be in charge but insist on taking 17% less pay than our male minions. Although one positive take-out from the article is that Janet Street Porter should probably be prime minister the next time we get the chance to install one.
I would make the comparative point that a politician who was openly racist wouldn't get many votes. But then I would have been forgetting about Boris Johnson. And for good measure he's misogynist and homophobic too. Oh and an idiot.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Polygamy and Abuse
What is strange for me about the coverage is how much of it focuses on the subject of polygamy. I am not all that horrified by polygamy. Obviously in this case it's been a marker for a number of other types of abuse, but in general taking more than one consenting wife or consenting husband (polyandry) is not something I care much about. Lots of people maintain several relationships at the same time and as long as all concerned parties know what is going on I don't see anything wrong with that. For me multiple marriage is no more or less of a crime than having multiple partners and multiple families, the relationships themselves are what is important, not their legal status.
And the focus on the "horror" of polygamy for me is a distraction from the obvious follow-up question: How many other insular communities are getting away with mistreatment of their women and children in this way too? What about those who abuse children and force young girls into early marriage but do not have multiple partners? Is that somehow ok?
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Thud Thud Thud
Saturday, April 05, 2008
1) Only one author (Zenobia) is still writing there. Fine if it's good interesting stuff but...
2) Harsh criticism of the other feminist blogs - claiming they don't pay enough attention to racism and classism, which is odd considering they're a feminist blog, you could argue that to focus on anything other than women's issues is beyond their remit. One particular recent post criticises the F-Word for saying they have been "losing sleep" over allegations of homophobia. Surely if they had responded saying that such allegations "didn't bother them at all", that would be a lot more worrying. And also criticism of myself in the comments section over at Brown Femi Power blog - the main criticism apparently being that I went on holiday to Africa in 2005... I have responded on there, rather than going through it all again here.
3) No comments sections any more. This is particularly an issue for me on posts where others are harshly criticised. To attack others for not being open enough to debate and others views while having no comments on your own blog is just downright hypocritical.
So adios MTGC. If anyone out there wants to be added to the blogroll then just let me know - more the merrier, I always like to highlight interesting stuff.
Friday, April 04, 2008
I'd Rather Go Naked Than Support Misogyny
Today Julie Bindel in The Guardian asks exactly that question: Why do we have to put up with misogyny when it's for charidee?
*Apologies if you were drinking coffee and are now going to have to pay for a new computer screen.
Stephen King Fans Pay Attention
Secondly in Iraq (from Alternet), another defence contractor worker has been raped and then told to keep quiet. Nothing is being done to investigate, etc. Which just goes to show (a) what a bad idea contracting private companies to work in Iraq is and (b) what some guys whose minds have been warped by war will do given the chance. Worse still she has little choice but to go back to work - if she doesn't she's been told she'll have to pay for her own flights home, etc. Too disgusting to think about.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Busy Cru-blog Day
I went along today to the launch of the Fawcett Society Sexism and the City campaign. Very interesting to hear from the speakers they had. They had Polly Courtney, author of Golden Handcuffs, a woman who had worked as a cleaner on ridiculously low pay and a woman who had worked as a lap-dancer in a bar near the city. The lap-dancer was the most shocking to hear from. She described the "no touching" rule as "a joke" and explained how she paid to perform, often came home having lost money, she also talked about there being no-one in the bar she could trust or turn to if there was a problem and how the work had affected her self esteem.
The launch finished with a speech from Tessa Jowell. Odd considering she's Minister for the Olympics, Harriet Harman is Minister for Women. Ms Jowell attempted to shoe-horn in some nonsense about the Olympics providing opportunities for women to get into construction. What annoyed me was every time she spoke about discrimination against women she seemed to be focussed on maternity pay, GCSE choices, confidence, etc. Fortunately I got a chance to ask a question (ended up being the last question) so I asked what she and the government were doing or could do to address not the difficulties of women taking maternity leave or needing flexible hours or making bad choices but the problem of women without children of dependents who had made all the right choices and still weren't getting equal pay and promotions, i.e. the problem of straightforward original SEXISM! Well the question went down very well and got me a big round of applause. Sadly Ms Jowell didn't actually answer it. She suggested I form a network with other women so that I wouldn't feel isolated, which was kind of odd since I was sat in a room with a couple of hundred other women who also care about the issue, so I've really got that covered. Anyway women in the city wouldn't feel isolated if there were more of them, would they! And anyway who is campaigning to an end to feeling a bit isolated? I thought we were after equal pay, equal promotions and equal opportunities... Sadly the format of the event didn't allow for me to grab the minister by the lapels and shake her til she agreed gender pay audits were a good idea. Ho hum.
Finally tonight I was on BBC Radio Five Live's Phil Williams show (click here, scroll down to Phil Williams and click to listen again, then you'll want to scroll through to the second hour of the show) with Holly Combe from the F-Word and journalist Vince Graff talking about whether we'd rather be a man or a woman. And in spite of it all, as I said to the team, I wouldn't take a magic sex-change pill if someone offered me one. Obviously we talked about longer life expectancy and multiple orgasms (or failing that at least longer-lasting orgasms, twice as many sex organ nerve endings, etc), but also about how much "lad" culture hurts men. Guys who feel like they can't express their feelings, can't look after themselves properly, that homophobic, misogynist culture of you-have-to-drink-27-pints-of-lager-or-you're-gay-you-big-girl... Strangely enough pretty much everyone agreed that men have a great deal to gain from feminism too.