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29 Abuse of Women News Articles
for January 2018
Click on the links below to get the full story from its source

1-18-18 Dylan Farrow: 'Allen's been lying so long'
Dylan Farrow says she wishes Woody Allen had been charged over allegations he sexually abused her as a child. "He's lying and he's been lying for so long," she told CBS's This Morning, in her first TV interview about her adoptive father. Allen repeated his denial of the claims and issued a new statement on Thursday saying: "I never molested my daughter." Several actors have recently distanced themselves from Allen, as Hollywood's sexual harassment scandal continues. Farrow has long alleged that Allen sexually abused her when she was seven, in her mother Mia's country house. Allen said in his statement: "Even though the Farrow family is cynically using the opportunity afforded by the Time's Up movement to repeat this discredited allegation, that doesn't make it any more true today than it was in the past." In the CBS interview, Farrow said she was giving the interview because "I want to show my face and tell my story. I want to speak out, literally." She repeated her allegation that that on 4 August, 1992, "I was taken to a small attic crawl space in my mother's country house in Connecticut by my father". She said: "He instructed me to lay down on my stomach and play with my brother's toy train that was set up. And he sat behind me in the doorway and as I played with the toy train, I was sexually assaulted."

1-17-18 Dylan Farrow: Outrage after 'years of being ignored'
Dylan Farrow says she feels "outrage" after "years of being ignored, disbelieved and tossed aside". Woody Allen's adopted daughter has appeared on CBS This Morning to talk about her sexual assault claim against the director. In what is her first TV interview, Farrow says she is "hurt" and "angry". The 32-year-old has repeatedly accused Allen of molesting her when she was seven - claims the director has always denied. Farrow expressed anger at the suggestion she was simply caught up in the Hollywood #metoo campaign, saying: "Why shouldn't I want to bring him down? Why shouldn't I be angry? Why shouldn't I be hurt? "Why shouldn't I feel some sort of outrage... after all these years of being ignored, disbelieved and tossed aside?" The excerpt, in which Farrow was visibly emotional, was a preview of a longer interview, which will be aired on Thursday.The interview was filmed on Monday at Farrow's home in Bridgewater, Connecticut. Farrow discussed why it was the right time for her to do a television interview after years of claiming Allen had abused her. "All I can do is speak my truth and hope - hope that somebody will believe me rather than just hearing," she said.

1-15-18 Catherine Deneuve apologises to sex assault victims
The French actress Catherine Deneuve has apologised to victims of sexual assault after signing an open letter that argued the campaign against sexual harassment had gone too far. She said she was sorry if she had offended victims of "hideous acts". Last week, she sparked a feminist backlash as one of 100 prominent women who signed a letter saying men should be "free to hit on" women. Some activists said the intervention trivialised sexual violence. The letter signed by French women writers, performers and academics, was published by Le Monde newspaper last Tuesday. It said that while it was legitimate and necessary to speak out against the abuse of power by some men, the constant denunciations had spiralled out of control. "I fraternally salute all the victims of these hideous acts who might have felt assaulted by the letter published in Le Monde. It is to them and them alone that I offer my apologies," the actress said in a letter published on Sunday on the website of French daily Liberation. Ms Deneuve also said that there was "nothing in the letter" to Le Monde that said "anything good about harassment, otherwise I wouldn't have signed it". (Webmaster's comment: Some women are so conditioned by their upbringing in male dominated cultures they seek to excuse sexual predators.)

1-15-18 Aziz Ansari responds to assault allegation
US comedian and actor Aziz Ansari has responded to an accusation of sexual assault by saying he had believed the encounter to be "completely consensual". Babe magazine published a detailed account over the weekend from a 23-year-old woman who said she felt "victimised" after a date with Ansari. She said it had taken her a long time to "validate this as a sexual assault". Ansari has said he "took her words to heart". The article published in Babe contained lengthy alleged details of the pair's date late last year. The woman, under the pseudonym Grace, alleges that when they returned to Ansari's apartment after dinner last September, he repeatedly tried to initiate sexual activity. She says he ignored or did not notice her signals that she did not want to have sex with him, and after several interactions which left her feeling "very uncomfortable" she left in a taxi in tears. She said she later texted him to say he had ignored "clear non-verbal cues" and that he had responded at the time by saying: "Clearly, I misread things in the moment and I'm truly sorry."

1-14-18 Vogue suspends Mario Testino and Bruce Weber amid sexual exploitation claims
Photographers Mario Testino and Bruce Weber have been suspended from working with fashion magazines including Vogue, amid allegations they sexually exploited male models and assistants. A series of claims were made against the pair in a New York Times article. Weber denies the claims, while lawyers for Testino said his accusers "cannot be considered reliable sources". Vogue publisher Conde Nast said it would not work with the men "for the foreseeable future". Artistic director Anna Wintour, who is also Vogue's editor-in-chief, said in a statement that the claims had "been hard to hear and heartbreaking to confront". In a separate statement, Wintour and Conde Naste chief Bob Sauerberg also said they were "deeply disturbed" by the accusations. The allegations against Testino date back to the mid-1990s and include groping and masturbation, the paper reported. Ryan Locke, a model who worked with Testino on Gucci campaigns, described him as a "sexual predator". Hugo Tillman, a photographic assistant, said Testino pinned him down on a bed before being removed by another person.Another assistant, Roman Barrett, said sexual harassment was a "constant reality". He claims the photographer masturbated in front of him. (Webmaster's comment: Men are also the victims of male sexual predator assaults. And don't forget the choir boys.)

1-14-18 Sri Lanka leader rejects move to allow women to buy alcohol
A move to grant women in Sri Lanka the same rights as men to buy alcohol legally has been overruled by President Maithripala Sirisena. He told a rally he had ordered the government to withdraw the reform, which would also have allowed women to work in bars without a permit. He said he had only found out about the move from the newspapers. The government announced on Wednesday it was amending a 1955 law, agreeing that it discriminated against women. Critics have accused the president of not taking gender equality seriously. "This is not just about this archaic sexist law but the archaic sexist system in which this law is just one more tool of control," wrote one Sri Lankan blogger. While the previous law was not always strictly enforced, many Sri Lankan women had welcomed the change. It would have allowed women over the age of 18 to buy alcohol legally for the first time in more than 60 years. A ban on alcohol being sold outside the hours of 09:00 to 21:00 would have been changed to allow sales between 08:00 and 22:00.(Webmaster's comment: The assault on women never stops.)

1-12-18 James Franco: Five women accuse actor of inappropriate behaviour
James Franco has been accused of sexual misconduct or inappropriate behaviour by five women, including students from his acting school, US media report. Four of the actor-director's former students and an actress who said Franco was her mentor told the LA Times they were victims of "an abuse of power". It comes after claims against Franco on social media following his best actor win at Sunday's Golden Globe awards. The star said the earlier allegations made on Twitter were "not accurate". On Sunday, Franco attended the Globes ceremony wearing a Time's Up pin on his lapel, signalling his support for an initiative aimed at combating sexual harassment in the film industry and other workplaces. That prompted accusations of sexual misconduct against the 39-year-old on Twitter from actresses Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Violet Paley. On Thursday, Tither-Kaplan told the LA Times that Franco participated in an "abuse of power" on film sets designed to create a "culture of exploiting non-celebrity women". She added that during a sex scene filmed three years ago with Franco and several women, the actor had removed plastic guards covering the actresses' genitalia while simulating oral sex. Two other student actresses said that Franco had become angry during a photo shoot when they refused to remove their shirts and expose their breasts, the LA Times reports.

1-12-18 China professor accused in #MeToo campaign is sacked
A Chinese university has fired a professor accused of sexual misconduct, after a former student named him in a #MeToo campaign. Beihang University in Beijing said an investigation had established that Chen Xiaowu had sexually harassed students. The former student, Luo Xixi, shared her story on China's version of Twitter, Weibo, earlier this month. Her account went viral and was seen as China's first widely-shared #MeToo moment. Ms Luo, who now lives in the US, previously told the BBC that the #MeToo movement in the West had given her "a lot of courage". In her post, she said that Mr Chen had tried to force himself on her 13 years ago, after luring her to his sister's house. He later relented after she burst into tears, she said. She had contacted other women who also said they had been harassed by him, and gathered evidence - including audio recordings - before taking the case to the university and sharing the case online. (Webmaster's comment: There are 3.8 billion males in the world and over 1/3 have probably sexually abused women. Out of of the 161 million males in the United States about 53 million have probably sexually abused women.)

1-11-18 School superintendent takes blame for dramatic teacher arrest
After a teacher challenged Vermilion Parish Superintendent Jerome Puyau over his pay rise, she was removed from a school board meeting, handcuffed and arrested. In the wake of backlash over viral footage of the arrest, the Louisiana superintendent speaks out.

1-11-18 A woman's choice - sexual favours or lose her home
Across the US, sexual harassment at the hands of landlords, property managers and others in the housing industry can drive poor women and their children into homelessness. It is a problem badly understood and virtually unstudied. Khristen Sellers needed a home. So when Four-County Community Services - a local housing agency - offered her an opportunity to move into a white panelled, three-bedroom trailer home on the outskirts of town, she readily accepted. That's when the trouble started. Sellers remembers the first time the agency's inspector, a former North Carolina state police officer named Eric Pender, came to the property with a clipboard in hand. As she continued to clean, she says the conversation quickly turned from the house to Sellers' personal life. Undeterred, Sellers says Pender asked her if she "gives head" or if she'd ever been paid for sex, implying that his signature on the inspection was the only thing standing between her and a place to live. At one point, she says he called her into the bathroom under the pretence of showing her a needed repair. She says he pulled her in by her hips, blocked the doorway and took out his penis. She managed to push him out of the way. "It was continuous," she says. "He would never sign. Each time he came, it was like, 'You owe me before I sign this paper. And you gotta make a decision.'"

1-11-18 Media Men list: Moira Donegan reveals she was author
The creator of an online spreadsheet that named men in the media industry alleged to have abused women has come forward, amid rumours that she was to be identified by a magazine. The creator of an online spreadsheet that named men in the media industry alleged to have abused women has come forward, amid rumours that she was to be identified by a magazine. Writer Moira Donegan said she set up the list for women to share their stories "without being needlessly discredited or judged". The list quickly went viral when it was set up in October. It was online for only 12 hours but gathered the names of more than 70 men. Allegations against those named ranged from harassment to rape. Writing in The Cut magazine, Ms Donegan said she was "incredibly naïve" when she made the Google spreadsheet, which was called the Shitty Media Men list. It followed a string of allegations made against dozens of men in the entertainment industry, including Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. "I had imagined a document that would assemble the collective, unspoken knowledge of sexual misconduct that was shared by the women in my circles: What I got instead was a much broader reckoning with abuses of power that spanned an industry," she said. She said she became "overwhelmed and scared" as more names and allegations were added to the list and was worried that her career might be ruined. Although she decided to take the list down she said it was clear that it was "clearly cathartic" for the women who were using it "saying that it had happened to them too". (Webmaster's comment: 70 is nothing. 1 in 4 women in the United States have been sexually abused by men. THAT'S 40 MILLION WOMEN IN THE UNITED STATES THAT HAVE BEEN SEXUALLY ABUSED. Everything from groping to rape.)

1-11-18 Cheating and manipulation: Confessions of a gaslighter
Greg, a Canadian lawyer, is 28 but he's already had 11 serious relationships. He says each of those relationships ended with infidelity, on his part, and severe self-doubt on the part of the women. He is a self-confessed "gaslighter". "Looking back it's clear that I was gaslighting the women and slowly making them second-guess their version of reality," he says. He's speaking out now to give insight into the mind of a gaslighter, and to warn women of the tell-tale signs. Gaslighting has been described as psychological abuse where false information is deliberately presented to the victim - the purpose being to make the victim question their own memory and perception of events. Greg learned that he was a gaslighter recently, while in therapy. He pinpoints the start of his behaviour to a relationship when he was a 21-year-old law undergraduate. Paula was four years older and completing a master's degree. Greg describes the relationship as "romantic but unsteady". He soon began sexual encounters with other women behind her back. But Paula was an intelligent woman and soon picked up that Greg was being unfaithful to her. Greg says that in order to continue cheating, while still maintaining their relationship, he had to "alter her reality". He began identifying "techniques and pathways" in which he could manipulate Paula - laying the groundwork in order to make the lies that would come later more believable. "Paula was extremely intelligent, but I was aware that I was leaving traces of infidelity in the digital world, on social media," says Greg. He said he made jokes over a period of time pointing to her "obsession" with social media, making her feel that she was suspicious in an unhealthy, even "crazy" way. "I deliberately used demeaning language to make her lose confidence in her reading of the situation, of my infidelity. She was 'paranoid', she was 'crazy', she was 'full of drama'. "I'd say this all as jokes. But they would build over time, and she then started to believe." The desired effect was achieved. Paula, who had suspected his infidelity, began to wonder aloud if perhaps she had been wrong to doubt him, if her judgement had left her. While she still had her doubts, Greg says she had started to question herself and apologised for suspecting him, vowing to spend less time on social media. (Webmaster's comment: Women should trust their suspicions. They are probably right. Many men will deliberatly manipulate women to control them and get sex from them. They are very skilled at this.)

1-10-18 Snapshot: Record Unhappiness With Women's Position in U.S
Nearly four in 10 Americans say they are "very" or "somewhat" dissatisfied with the position of women in the U.S., the highest since Gallup first asked the question in 2001. The year 2017 turned a sharper focus on women in U.S. society, from the Women's March on Washington to the "Me Too" movement drawing attention to allegations of sexual harassment and abuse, and the "Time's Up" movement's focus on gender equity in show business and business more generally. Gallup's update on a question that asks Americans about their satisfaction with the position of women in society reflects this focus, with a significantly larger percentage now saying that they are dissatisfied than in 2001 to 2008 when these questions were last asked. U.S. women are substantially more dissatisfied with the position of women in society. Nearly half of women (46%) say they are very or somewhat dissatisfied with their position in society, up from 30% in 2008, when Gallup last asked the question (and the trend's highest point.) Dissatisfaction is also up among men, although at significantly lower levels than among women.

1-10-18 Rape victims' clothing on display at Belgian exhibition
An exhibition in Brussels is displaying clothing worn by rape victims at the time they were attacked, reportedly to dispel the "stubborn myth" that provocative dress is a factor in violent sexual crimes. The exhibition, held in the Molenbeek district of the Belgian capital, is called "Is it my fault?" It refers to the self-doubt that many victims feel after an attack, the Flanders News website reports. The clothes loaned to the organisers - victim support group CAW East Brabant - include tracksuit bottoms, pyjamas and dresses. CAW's Liesbeth Kennes told VRT1 radio "What you immediately notice when you walk around here: they are all very normal pieces that anyone would wear. "There is even a children's shirt with an image of 'My Little Pony' in the exhibition, which brings home a harsh reality," she said. Ms Kennes says that "victim blaming" still remains a problem in sexual assault cases, where the victim may be questioned on the assumption that they were at least partly responsible for the sexual aggression against them. In 2015, she told VRT's De Redactie website that only 10% of rapes in the country are ever reported to the police, and that of those, only one in ten cases results in a conviction. "Behind those figures are people of flesh and blood, women, men and children," she said, "Our society discourages victims from speaking about what they have experienced." While victims are accused of dressing provocatively, flirting, or even cycling home late at night, Ms Kennes says "There is only one person responsible, one person who could prevent rape: the perpetrator".

1-10-18 South Africa police hunt rapist with bitten penis
South African hospitals are on the alert for a man with an injured penis after a pregnant woman managed to bite her rapist's genitals as he assaulted her in front of her child. The woman was sexually assaulted after accepting a lift from two men in Mpumalanga province as she tried to reach a clinic with her child, five. Instead she was driven into the bushes and raped at knifepoint, police say. They now hope his injuries will mean the man can be bought to justice. "We appeal to all health institutions that should they found a man with an injured private part, they must as soon as possible contact Constable Solly Mabuza," Mpumalanga police said in a statement. The men, the statement says, were driving a white Toyota Tazz near the town of White River. They initially threatened the woman, who is three months pregnant, at gunpoint, warning her not to scream. After she bit her attacker, he fled and was "currently not found", the statement explained. (Webmaster's comment: I hope she bit it right off!)

1-10-18 Catherine Deneuve defends men's 'right to hit on' women
French actress Catherine Deneuve has said that men should be "free to hit on" women. She is one of 100 French women who wrote an open letter, warning about a new "puritanism" sparked by recent sexual harassment scandals. It deplores a wave of "denunciations", following rape allegations made against US movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. A group of French feminists condemned the letter, accusing the signatories of trivialising sexual violence. Mr Weinstein denies all allegations of non-consensual sex, but has admitted that his behaviour has "caused a lot of pain". The letter by French women writers, performers and academics was published in France's Le Monde newspaper on Tuesday. "Men have been punished summarily, forced out of their jobs when all they did was touch someone's knee or try to steal a kiss," it said. (Webmaster's comment: Groping a women's genitals without her permission is a sexual attack and not OK!) "Rape is a crime, but trying to seduce someone, even persistently or clumsily, is not - and nor is men being gentlemanly a chauvinist attack." The authors argued that there was a new "puritanism" afoot in the world. They said that while it was legitimate and necessary to speak out against the abuse of power by some men, the constant denunciations have spiralled out of control. According to the writers, this is creating a public mood in which women are seen as powerless, as perpetual victims. "As women we do not recognise ourselves in this feminism, which beyond denouncing the abuse of power, takes on a hatred of men and of sexuality." (Webmaster's comment: Women have been conditioned by men to accept sexual abuse for centuries. These women are their own worst enemy!)

1-10-18 Spain Catalonia: Conviction over Inés Arrimadas gang-rape jibe
A Spanish woman who wrote a Facebook post saying she wanted to see unionist leader Inés Arrimadas gang raped has been given a four-month suspended jail sentence. Rosa Maria Miras Puigpinós was found guilty of offending moral integrity. The post was written after a TV debate in which Ms Arrimadas defended her stance against Catalan independence. Ms Arrimadas, who heads the Catalan wing of the liberal unionist Citizens party, said it was "hate speech". Miras Puigpinós, 45, posted the comment after the television debate in September. She has since deleted her profile and apologised to Ms Arrimadas. Miras Puigpinós' post also made homophobic comments towards the leader of the Catalan Socialists, Miquel Iceta. Only Ms Arrimadas complained to the police. "I'm going to report this woman. Not only for what she said against me, but also for all the women that have been raped," Ms Arrimadas said on Twitter at the time.

1-9-18 Golden Globes 2018: Sexual harassment scandal dominates ceremony
Powerful speeches about Hollywood's sexual abuse scandal have dominated the 75th Golden Globe Awards. It was the first major Hollywood awards ceremony since the film industry was hit by sexual harassment scandals, with stars wearing black to honour victims. Oprah Winfrey summed up the mood, saying "a new day is on the horizon" as she collected an honorary award. The big film winner of the night was Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which took home four awards. It won the best film drama award, with its star Frances McDormand also picking up a trophy for best actress. The Oscar-winning actress stars as a grieving mother who challenges police over the fact her daughter's killer has not been found. Big Little Lies won the most awards in the television categories, including honours for its stars Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern and Alexander Skarsgard. It was also named best limited TV series. Kidman won the first award of the night for her role as a victim of domestic violence. She dedicated her win to her castmates, daughters and mother, saying: "Wow, the power of women."

1-9-18 Craig McLachlan: Actor denies sexual misconduct allegations
Australian actor Craig McLachlan has denied allegations of sexual misconduct made against him by three women. The accusations against McLachlan, 52, concern his time performing in a 2014 production of the Rocky Horror Show. Three cast members accused the former Neighbours actor of inappropriate touching and harassment. McLachlan stepped down from the Rocky Horror Show's current Australian run on Monday, but rejected the allegations as "entirely false". "Frankly, they seem to be simple inventions, perhaps made for financial reasons, perhaps to gain notoriety," he wrote in response to allegations published by the Australian Broadcasting Corp. The actresses, Christie Whelan Browne, Erika Heynatz and Angela Scundi, said they had come forward to protect other cast members. McLachlan had been reprising his role as Dr Frank N. Furter in Adelaide. The allegations, also published by Fairfax Media on Monday, include that McLachlan pulled aside Whelan Browne's underwear during a performance and kissed her buttock. "I think people who know him know that he's very generous, warm, funny... I saw a very different side come out in him which was terrifying," she told the ABC.

1-8-18 US police chief 'kutecop4you' arrested in child sex sting
The stunned wife of a US police chief who was arrested for soliciting sex with a child says her family's lives "have been completely shattered". Michael William Diebold, who ran the three-man police force in Leechburg, Pennsylvania, was arrested on Friday. The 40-year-old allegedly sent explicit texts and photos with a person he believed was 14, but it was a police sting. His wife apologised to the public on Sunday. "I have never hurt so bad in all my life," Danielle Reinke Diebold said in a statement to KDKA News. She described her husband as the "first man ever in my life who never made me question, never gave me a gut feeling, never a bad instinct or sign and we were even in the process of planning to extend our family". "This is not who we knew. We knew a loving, caring father and husband and we are grieving the loss of that man," she added. According to Pennsylvania state prosecutors, Mr Diebold was arrested on Friday after trying to meet an undercover officer who was posing online as a teenager. The criminal complaint says that Mr Diebold had been contacted by the bogus teen after posting an advert in which he stated he was a "full-time police officer". Identifying himself as "kutecop4you", Mr Diebold wrote: "I am a dom male that is also employed as a full time police officer. I hope that does not scare you off." After the undercover agent claimed in the text exchange to be a 14-year-old girl, Mr Diebold allegedly responded: "Everyone has to have a first time."

1-7-18 Golden Globes: Sex scandal fallout expected to dominate Hollywood awards
Film awards season gets under way with the Golden Globes later - the first major ceremony since Hollywood was hit by its sexual harassment scandals. Stars of film and television are expected to wear black on the red carpet in a protest against misconduct. Acceptance speeches - and host Seth Meyers' opening monologue - are also expected to focus on the issue. Guillermo del Toro's otherworldly romance The Shape of Water has the most nominations of any film, with seven. Its stars include Britain's Sally Hawkins, who is nominated for best actress in a film drama. It's also up for best drama film, alongside Call Me By Your Name, Dunkirk, The Post and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. The best comedy or musical film nominees are The Disaster Artist, Get Out, The Greatest Showman, Lady Bird and I, Tonya.

1-6-18 Will #MeToo spread in China?
On New Year's Day, China finally had its own #MeToo moment. Luo Xixi, an academic with a PhD from the prestigious Beihang University in Beijing, said she was sexually harassed by one of her professors when she was studying there 12 years ago. She recounted her experience on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, and said she was still haunted by the experience. Her post gained more than three million views within a day, triggering a heated debate online about sexual harassment. Shortly afterwards, Beihang University announced that the professor in question had been suspended from his duties, and that an investigation was under way. The professor has denied the allegations. Ms Luo, who now lives in the US, told the BBC that the #MeToo movement had given her "a lot of courage". But the digital campaign has not been as prominent on Chinese social media until now - and even then, there haven't been as many other people stepping forward to share their experiences. Many Chinese feminist groups are encouraging women to follow in Ms Luo's footsteps, but think that even if the #MeToo movement takes off it will look quite different in China. (Webmaster's comment: The #MeToo movement has been huge in the West, but MILLIONS of Western women have still not spoken up!)

1-5-18 Sex addiction is gaining medical credibility as a real thing
Guidelines from the World Health Organization are being drawn up that may recognise sexual compulsivity as a mental disorder. If your sex life gets you into trouble, does that make you a sex addict – or just someone who has made some bad choices? The debate over sex addiction has taken a new twist, as guidelines are being drawn up that may recognise sexual compulsivity as a mental disorder. Sex addiction usually hits the headlines when someone famous gets caught behaving badly and lays the blame on their “disorder”. Celebrities such as Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey have reportedly sought treatment for sex addiction recently. But many health professionals say sex addiction isn’t a real illness. Even in the US, where the idea is most popular, this diagnosis does not feature in the official textbook of psychiatric illnesses, called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.Soon those who support the idea of sex addiction could get some support from an alternative set of diagnostic guidelines, from the World Health Organization. The WHO has put out for consultation an updated version of its International Classification of Diseases. The document was originally going to include sex addiction, but after debate this was softened to “compulsive sexual behaviour“, defined as a persistent pattern of failure to control intense sexual impulses. But it’s still more controversial than the old category of “excessive sexual drive”, which was more neutral about possible causes. But sceptics say the idea of addiction or compulsive behaviour around sex is just a way for people to duck responsibility for misbehaviour. (Webmaster's comment: And I totally agree!)

1-5-18 Anti-harassment campaign
A coalition of powerful Hollywood women this week unveiled a campaign to fight sexual harassment in the entertainment industry and beyond. Time’s Up is backed by more than 300 high-profile actresses, agents, and other entertainment figures, including Ashley Judd, Reese Witherspoon, Natalie Portman, Kerry Washington, the producer Shonda Rhimes, and chairwoman of Universal Pictures Donna Langley. In an open letter, the group listed goals including working for legislation to punish companies that tolerate systemic sexual harassment, discouraging nondisclosure agreements that silence victims, and pressuring Hollywood studios and talent agencies to reach leadership gender parity by 2020. The initiative also includes a $13 million donor-funded legal defense fund to aid women working in blue-collar jobs, such as home health-care aides, farmworkers, and waitstaff, with sexual-harassment complaints.

1-5-18 Indian national accused of sex assault on US flight
US authorities have arrested an Indian man after a woman accused him of sexually assaulting her as she slept in the seat next to him on a US flight. Prabhu Ramamoorthy, 34, was sitting between his own wife and the alleged victim, officials say. The woman said she had woken up to find her shirt and trousers unbuttoned and the suspect's hand in her trousers. Mr Ramamoorthy denied the accusations, telling police he was himself asleep after taking a pill. Mr Ramamoorthy, an Indian citizen living in the US on a temporary visa, was sitting in the middle seat, with his wife on the aisle side and the alleged victim in the window seat. The flight was on Spirit Airlines, travelling overnight and arriving in Detroit on Wednesday morning from Las Vegas. Mr Ramamoorthy was held without bail after appearing in a federal court in Michigan on Thursday after prosecutors argued there was a risk he could abscond. Prosecutors told the Washington Post that he had been charged with aggravated sexual abuse.

1-5-18 Every woman in South Asia can say #MeToo
The #MeToo movement that started in the U.S. resonates in South Asia as “painfully familiar,” said Rafia Zakaria. Women here, too, routinely face bosses “who demand illicit relationships” and fire them if they fail to submit to unwanted advances. Just as in the West, those lucky enough not to be groped or pinched still suffer the indignity of being paid less than their male counterparts, listened to less, and promoted less often. Yet here, “the misery begins even before they get to work.” Many women must bargain with husbands or fathers to be allowed to work at all, often agreeing to wear a hijab or burqa in public and to hand over their wages. Then, on their way to the workplace, women get harassed by bus drivers, taxi drivers, ticket takers, and even the other male passengers, who perceive them “as morally loose or available” simply because they are on their way to work. When they return home, women with jobs are more likely to face domestic violence, because while the husbands enjoy the money their wives bring in, they also see that cash as a challenge to their masculinity. As long as the culture promotes male superiority, nothing will change. Our situation “is a two-sided hell: harassment by bosses at work and abuse by husbands at home.”

1-3-18 McMafia: The scale of human trafficking in numbers
The issue of human trafficking is being highlighted in new BBC One drama McMafia, through the character of beautician Lyudmilla. More than 18,000 people are victims every year, according to the UN. But the true scale of the trade in human lives is thought to be much greater than figures suggest.

1-2-18 New York City Ballet: Peter Martins retires amid abuse claims
The longstanding leader of the New York City Ballet, Peter Martins, has retired amid accusations of sexual harassment and abusive behaviour by ballet members. Mr Martins, 71, was placed on leave last month pending an investigation. He denied the allegations in a letter to the board announcing his retirement, according to the Associated Press (AP). Mr Martins, a Danish former ballet dancer, had been the ballet's master-in-chief since 1990. The New York Times recently reported that City Ballet dancers had come forward to allege verbal and physical abuse dating back to 1993. In a statement reported by AP, the ballet's board thanked Mr Martins for his work but said the investigation into misconduct would continue.

1-1-18 Time's Up: Women launch campaign to fight sexual harassment
More than 300 actresses, writers and directors have launched a project to help fight sexual harassment in the film industry and other workplaces. The initiative, which is called Time's Up, was announced via a full-page advert printed in the New York Times. The Hollywood project is described as a "unified call for change from women in entertainment for women everywhere". It comes in the wake of sexual abuse allegations by high-profile actresses against film producer Harvey Weinstein. The campaign, which is backed by hundreds of actresses including Natalie Portman, Reese Witherspoon, Cate Blanchett, Eva Longoria and Emma Stone, has already raised more than $13m (£9.6m) of its $15m target. The money raised will be used to fund legal support for both female and male victims of sexual harassment at work. The project is aimed primarily at those who are unable to meet the payments to defend themselves, such as agricultural or factory workers, caretakers and waitresses. In a "solidarity letter" published on its website, Time's Up says the "struggle for women to break in, to rise up the ranks and to simply be heard" must end, adding: "Time's up on this impenetrable monopoly." The letter, which is aimed at "every woman... who has had to fend off sexual advances", goes on to say that such harassment can often continue because "perpetrators and employers never face any consequences". (Webmaster's comment: The consequences should always include serious jail time!)

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