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Updated: 3 hours 35 min ago

Chilean anti-rape anthem becomes international feminist phenomenon

Thu, 12/05/2019 - 21:45
  • A Rapist in Your Path performed by women at mass protests
  • Performances staged across Latin America and Europe

A Chilean protest song about rape culture and victim shaming has become a viral anthem for feminists around the world.

Related: Chile security forces' crackdown leaves toll of death and broken bodies

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Labour's Jon Ashworth pulls out of Question Time over all-male panel

Thu, 12/05/2019 - 05:58

Shadow health secretary steps aside in favour of Oxford East candidate Anneliese Dodds

Labour’s Jon Ashworth has pulled out of the final pre-election episode of BBC Question Time, after the programme was criticised for featuring an all-male panel.

The shadow health secretary said he had “no idea” it was an all-male line-up when he agreed take part in the programme, so has agreed to step aside in favour of the Oxford East Labour candidate Anneliese Dodds.

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Why do some men consider talking about pregnancy ‘too much’? | Terri White

Thu, 12/05/2019 - 00:00

Being pregnant is the weirdest thing I have ever experienced. But I broke some kind of code when I wrote about it on social media

When I read the message from the man on Twitter, I felt the instant inching of shame. It wasn’t what you would call rude. If he was asked, he would probably have called it “helpful”.

“You mention you’re pregnant way too much on here these days,” it said. He only came to my account for the “film stuff” – not beyond reason, given I am the editor of a film magazine. Nevertheless, as well as “film stuff”, I also talk about poverty, politics and domestic violence. I have sent a staggering number of tweets about cheese triangles. None of these topics warranted comment or were “too much”. But this was clearly different. I had breached a code.

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Amy Dunne on her lonely, harrowing abortion fight: 'I was told I would be done for murder'

Wed, 12/04/2019 - 20:00

At 17, Dunne was pregnant with a baby who had a fatal abnormality. She was given a pseudonym and became the focus of a landmark Irish legal case – but now she is reclaiming her story

The week Amy Dunne turned 17, she was several months pregnant and made two discoveries – one devastating and the other incomprehensible. A hospital scan showed something badly wrong in her womb. The foetus had anencephaly, a fatal abnormality. Doctors said the baby, a girl, would die soon after birth.

Although she was living in foster care and still a child herself, Dunne had looked forward to becoming a mother and building a new life with her boyfriend. Distraught, she shared the news with her social workers and said she needed to travel to Britain from Ireland for an abortion. That’s when Dunne discovered something badly wrong in her country.

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Peloton loses $1.5bn in value over 'dystopian, sexist' exercise bike ad

Wed, 12/04/2019 - 09:12

Shares slide amid backlash to Christmas advert in which man buys partner exercise bike

Almost $1.5bn (£1.1bn) has been wiped off the value of the exercise bike firm Peloton after a backlash against a Christmas advert widely derided as “sexist and dystopian”.

The advert, which has been viewed almost 2m times on YouTube, shows a woman receiving an exercise bike from her partner on Christmas morning. The gift inspires her to record a video diary of her exercise sessions, in which she proudly says: “A year ago I didn’t realise how much this would change me.”

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Boris Johnson claimed children of working mothers 'more likely to mug you'

Wed, 12/04/2019 - 03:57

Exclusive: PM made comments about low-income families in 2006 collection of essays

Boris Johnson made claims that children of working mothers in low-income families were “unloved and undisciplined” and more likely to “mug you on the street corner”, it has emerged.

In a 2006 collection of journalism, entitled Have I Got Views for You, Johnson bemoaned the increasing tendency of women to work, saying they had been “socially gestapoed into the workplace”.

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TikTok's soft girls: could a hyper-cute aesthetic be a symbol of empowerment?

Wed, 12/04/2019 - 03:13

The soft girl’s vision of femininity can be seen as retrograde – but there’s more going on than simply blush and Bambi eyes

Everyone knows the familiar high-school subcultures – the populars, rebels and artsy weirdos who comprise the basic foundation of teen archetypes.

Now new subcultural types distinctive enough to be intelligible to adults have emerged, in large part via trend superconductor TikTok. You can read about VSCO girls (beachy and eco-conscious and inconspicuously rich) and e-girls (emo types who are very online) in publications such as the New York Times and the Columbia Journalism Review.

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Unnecessary appendix surgery 'performed on thousands in UK'

Tue, 12/03/2019 - 19:01

Third of women who enter theatre end up having normal appendix removed, study finds

Thousands of people in the UK, particularly young women, are having their appendices removed unnecessarily because of inadequacies in the way appendicitis is diagnosed, surgeons say.

A study has found that almost a third of women and 12% of men in the UK who undergo surgery for suspected appendicitis end up having a normal appendix removed.

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I'm 50 and disillusioned about love. How should I be in my next relationship? | Leading questions

Tue, 12/03/2019 - 16:00

Changing the things you love about yourself to avoid being alone seems like a trade off, writes Eleanor Gordon-Smith, but it’s really a trade off between two ways of being alone

I am an energetic, capable, intelligent woman of 50. I earn a good salary, I am good at DIY and all other household chores. I am loving, caring and supportive with a good sense of humour. However, I have had a 20-year marriage and an eight-year relationship both end. Men (or at least the ones I choose) say they love independent women, but all they really seem to mean is they love women who will support them. How should I be in my next relationship? Should I pretend to be a pathetic helpless female who needs a man to save her? I am so disillusioned, I wonder what I am doing wrong.

There’s a Japanese folk story about a crane who tricks a man into marrying her by pretending to be a woman. She knows that her beloved won’t want her if he discovers she’s a bird, so at night she stays awake and tears out her feathers with her beak. CJ Hauser wrote a beautiful memoir recently that called on the story: “To keep becoming a woman is so much self-erasing work.”

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Time's Up says NBC has pattern of punishing women after firing of Gabrielle Union

Tue, 12/03/2019 - 04:06

Time’s Up chief executive says NBC punished the America’s Got Talent judge for speaking out about inappropriate behavior

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The advocacy group Time’s Up has accused NBCUniversal of protecting powerful men and punishing women who speak out, following the departure of Gabrielle Union as a judge on America’s Got Talent.

Related: Trump loses appeal to stop Deutsche Bank turning over financial records – live

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Daughters of women with PCOS face five times greater risk

Mon, 12/02/2019 - 06:00

Polycystic ovary syndrome is believed to affect about one in five women of reproductive age

Daughters of women with polycystic ovary syndrome, a common disorder that can cause excessive body hair, acne and fertility problems, are five times more likely than the average woman to develop the condition, a major study has found.

Researchers in Sweden examined the medical histories of nearly 30,000 women and their mothers. The records from national registries showed that 3.4% of women born to mothers with PCOS were later diagnosed themselves, compared with only 0.6% of women whose mothers did not have the condition.

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'We've been robbed': how women hit by rise in pension age intend to vote

Mon, 12/02/2019 - 05:21

Some lifelong Conservative supporters are abandoning the party and voting Labour

Almost 4 million women born in the 1950s, whose retirement age was increased from 60 to 66, have been weighing their voting intentions since Labour announced a £58bn compensation plan to pay back the “historic debt of honour”.

Jeremy Corbyn has said affected women could receive up to £31,300 in compensation, depending on their age. Boris Johnson, who previously pledged to consider the impact of the policy, now says he “cannot promise I can magic up that money”. The Liberal Democrats have committed to providing some compensation but offered no detailed plan or costings.

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One-stop shops needed for women's health services

Sun, 12/01/2019 - 14:01

Women often required to visit multiple clinics for routine procedures, says report

One-stop shops should open in the high street, where women can go to get contraception, screening services, menopause advice and help with other health needs, while the morning-after pill should be sold off the shelf without consultation, say leading UK experts.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, which has been working on a blueprint for women’s health services for more than a year in conjunction with other groups and government, says services for women need to be completely overhauled to give them far more control over their health.

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Abortion should be a medical matter, not a criminal one. The law needs to change | Hilary Freeman

Sun, 12/01/2019 - 02:48
Manifesto promises by Labour and the Liberal Democrats to decriminalise abortion are welcome news for women

There has been a predictably overwrought response to the election manifesto promises of both Labour and the Liberal Democrats to decriminalise abortion. Rightwing and Catholic commentators alike imagined hordes of heavily pregnant women at abortion clinics, demanding their fully formed foetuses be evacuated from their uteruses. Just because the law said that they now could.

I, unfortunately, know far more than I want to about what utter nonsense this emotive, anti-abortion rhetoric is. On 26 September 2012 I ended the life of my much-wanted daughter, Elodie, at 24 weeks’ gestation. It’s the hardest and most painful thing I’ve ever done. One thing I now know, with certainty, following this traumatic experience, is that no woman would choose to terminate a pregnancy that late on unless she felt there wasn’t any other option. And no doctor would countenance it, whatever the law said.

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Keep us busy with babies and we’ve no time for crime | Torsten Bell

Sat, 11/30/2019 - 20:00
Offending rates among women and men plunge as soon as they’ve got a child on the way

Unless you’re in a mafia clan, we all want to see crime come down. But different people approach that in different ways. Economists like to think of criminals as getting out their calculators to see if crime pays, so they focus on the impact of deterrence: increasing the severity of punishment or the likelihood of being caught.

Unfortunately, deterrence doesn’t do a great job because criminals don’t care enough about the future to pay much attention to jail terms. And of course everyone knows that reducing crime goes beyond more police or prisons – it’s about people’s roles in society.

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Victoria’s most damaging Secret? The pantmaker’s appeal to the likes of Jeffrey Epstein | Catherine Bennett

Sat, 11/30/2019 - 08:00
Farewell to the show that was always more about male fantasy than empowering women

After a week of cultural losses, something has gone, too, from the fashion world. Traditionally, at this time of year, supportive women’s magazines and pages would have been running awed interviews with stars of the Victoria’s Secret fashion show, marvelling at their exercise routines and extolling the distinction, in their ranks, of being picked to wear the year’s most risible outfit.

Which of the show’s uniformly shaped bodies will get to wear the platinum brassiere, the miraculous suspender, the surpassingly rare crystal thong? As ever, Vogue led the coverage last year, with an excitable “everything you need to know” primer. “Elsa Hosk was chosen to wear the Victoria’s Secret Fantasy Bra. This year’s show-stopping piece was created using 100 per cent Swarovski Created Diamonds and responsibly sourced topaz.”

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I might never have become a chess grandmaster if I’d stuck to women-only tournaments | Judit Polgár

Fri, 11/29/2019 - 21:00

Female chess players, like me, thrive when they play against the world’s best men

• Judit Polgár is a Hungarian chess grandmaster and was the highest-ranking female player until her retirement in 2014

I am used to being cited as living proof that women can play chess at the same elite level as men. When I was 15, I became the youngest grandmaster in the world, breaking the record set by Bobby Fischer more than three decades earlier. It turned out that I was not able to become the overall world champion, but I always strived to fulfil this ambition – and at my peak, I was the eighth highest ranked player in the world.

Even if women think and compete differently, we can attain the same achievements as men: be it in science, art or chess

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Ohio bill orders doctors to ‘reimplant ectopic pregnancy’ or face 'abortion murder' charges

Thu, 11/28/2019 - 22:54

Ohio introduces one of the most extreme bills to date for a procedure that does not exist in medical science

A bill to ban abortion introduced in the Ohio state legislature requires doctors to “reimplant an ectopic pregnancy” into a woman’s uterus – a procedure that does not exist in medical science – or face charges of “abortion murder”.

This is the second time practising obstetricians and gynecologists have tried to tell the Ohio legislators that the idea is currently medically impossible.

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Labour’s policies will benefit millions, but now it needs to sell them better | Polly Toynbee

Thu, 11/28/2019 - 06:45

The party’s promise to restore women’s stolen pension entitlements is laudable, but it is not doing enough to win round voters

Brutal attacks on Labour’s tax and spending plans are part of the furniture of any election. No surprise at the incoming fire over Labour’s promise to compensate women born in the 1950s for the state pension entitlements stolen from them. The equalisation of men and women’s pension age was accelerated by the Tories, cheating them of firm entitlements.

Related: Women hit by pension age changes to appeal against court ruling

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Theresa May unveils statue of pioneering MP Nancy Astor

Thu, 11/28/2019 - 06:32

Former PM pays tribute on Plymouth Hoe to first woman to take up seat in Commons

A bronze statue of Nancy Astor, the first woman MP to take up a seat in parliament, has been installed in Plymouth exactly a century after she was elected to represent the Devon city.

Theresa May unveiled the memorial, paid for through a crowdfunding campaign, on Plymouth Hoe outside Astor’s former home, watched by hundreds of schoolchildren and students.

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