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71 Women's Inequality News Articles
from 2018 2nd Half
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12-21-18 Kathy Griffin calls out all-male comedy rich list
Kathy Griffin has criticised the lack of women on Forbes magazine's latest list of the world's best-paid comedians. The Emmy Award-winning comedian tweeted the top 10 of Forbes' list along with the words: "No Women." Jerry Seinfeld topped the rankings with estimated earnings of $57.5m (£45.3m). Amy Schumer was the first woman to make the list last year but has dropped back out this time. Ricky Gervais is the only British comedian on the list. He is a new entry in fifth place with earnings of $25m (£19.7m). Forbes said that was thanks to Humanity, his first stand-up tour for five years. Humanity was also on Netflix, and he has signed up for another Netflix special. Griffin, meanwhile, was unlikely to make the list herself. She was fired by CNN and said she lost a number of other jobs after she posed with a fake decapitated head of President Donald Trump in May 2017. Another comedian missing from the list is Louis CK, who was in last year's top 10 with $52m (£41m) earnings. But after he confirmed sexual misconduct allegations against him in November 2017, his second Netflix special was cancelled and he has only performed a handful of dates since. Seinfeld has topped the list in all but one year since it was first compiled in 2006. Kevin Hart took the top spot in 2016. Forbes attributes Seinfeld's earnings this year to his 2017 Netflix deal and Hulu's streaming rights to all nine seasons of Seinfeld, as well as more than $30m (£23.6m) from stand-up. Hart is close behind in second place with $57m (£44.9m). The comedian, who recently pulled out of hosting the Oscars due to controversy over homophobic tweets, also earned more than $30m from touring and starred in the Jumanji film remake.
12-21-18 Women are finally getting equal access to the Hubble Space Telescope
The Hubble Space Telescope has a gender problem. For at least the past 16 years, female researchers have had their requests to use the world’s most important telescope accepted at significantly lower rates than their male colleagues. But a switch to reviewing anonymised proposals is changing that, showing that selection processes can be biased against women. Every year, astronomers around the world respond to an open call for proposals for time using Hubble. There can be up to 1000 proposals, with only 10 to 20 per cent given the green light to make observations. In 2017, 27.5 per cent of the major proposals put forward were led by women. Of these, 13 per cent were approved, whereas proposals led by men had a 24 per cent approval rate. Previous years saw a similar disparity. Time on the telescope is a coveted resource. “There’s a real premium on getting Hubble time, and a lot of observational astronomers have built their careers with it,” says Priyamvada Natarajan at Yale University, who led Hubble’s 2018 Telescope Allocation Committee (TAC). It is particularly important for astronomers that don’t have the funding or institutional backing to use other major telescopes, which have more restricted access. The gender disparity meant that under-represented researchers faced an additional disadvantage. So the Space Telescope Science Institute, which oversees the selection proceedings for Hubble, decided it was time for a change. In 2017, it brought in Stefanie Johnson, a leadership and diversity expert from the University of Colorado, to observe TAC meetings and advise on ways to mitigate the apparent bias.
12-20-18 The #MeToo movement shook up workplace policies in science
New research seeks to better understand how sexual harassment affects women. Science is catching up to Hollywood in coming to terms with its own #MeToo moment. In the last year or so, several high-profile scientists left their posts after investigations of sexual harassment allegations, including geneticist Francisco Ayala, cancer biologist Inder Verma and astrophysicist Christian Ott. But getting rid of the “bad actors” isn’t enough, according to a report released in June by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (SN Online: 6/22/18). The report, along with the rise of #MeToo in science, has begun to spur institutional changes. The problem is widespread in the United States, according to the report. Of nearly 18,000 female undergraduate and graduate students surveyed at the University of Texas System, 20 percent of the science students, 27 percent of the engineering students and 47 percent of the medical students said they had experienced sexual harassment from faculty or staff. “We recognize that we need to change the culture and environment that is allowing sexual harassment to continue,” Victor Dzau, president of the National Academy of Medicine, said in Washington, D.C., in November at a workshop on best practices for preventing sexual harassment. As of October, the National Science Foundation requires institutions to report confirmed cases of harassment by researchers who are receiving NSF funding. Failure to do so could result in the removal of scientists from a project or termination of funding. The Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health, however, have been under fire for not amending policies quickly enough or going far enough to punish abusers who receive government funding.
12-20-18 Nevada makes history with first female-majority legislature
Nevada has become the first state in the US with a female-majority legislature, where women hold 51% of seats. On Tuesday, Democrats Rochelle Nguyen and Beatrice Duran were appointed to the assembly, replacing lawmakers who had moved on from their posts. Of Nevada's 63 legislative seats, 32 are now filled by women. The historic moment follows an election season that saw an unprecedented number of women win congressional seats. Former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tweeted about the milestone, saying: "Let's make it the first of many."
12-14-18 Japan medical schools 'rigged women's results'
At least nine Japanese medical schools manipulated admissions, in part to exclude female students, a government investigation has found. The inquiry was launched in August, after the prestigious Tokyo Medical University (TMU) was found to have tampered with the scores of female applicants from as early as 2006. Reports cited concerns that many women would not go on to practise medicine. Japan's education minister said the scandal was "deeply disappointing". "I want the universities to make immediate and courteous responses regarding the situation of the applicants," Masahiko Shibayama was quoted as saying by the Kyodo news agency after the report was published on Friday. Japan's government has been trying to boost women in the workforce and especially into senior positions. The medical schools' sexism scandal has come as a setback. The revelations about TMU in August sparked a national outcry, and in response the education ministry looked at the entrance exams of 81 medical schools. According to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper - 10 universities were identified has having held "inappropriate entrance exams" - meaning students were treated different based on characteristics including their age or sex. It said nine universities, including TMU, Kitasato University and Juntendo University, were guilty of such practices. A tenth, the St Marianna University School of Medicine, was also named but has denied any wrongdoing. The investigation found other improper practices, including universities favouring the children of alumni and being biased against those who had sat the entrance exam multiple times. Back in August the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper quoted an unnamed source saying officials at TMU had adopted a "silent understanding" to reduce the number of female entrants over concerns female graduates were not going on to practice medicine in employment. (Webmaster's comment: The assaults against women are every where and never ending!)
12-12-18 Letter from Africa: Why Kenyan men don't want to share power with women
In our series of letters from African journalists, media and communications trainer Joseph Warungu reflects on gender inequality in Kenyan politics. The Kenyan parliament is a tough playground. And just like any other playground, the bigger ones tend to play rough and keep the toys to themselves. The "boys" in parliament have been doing exactly that, by refusing to share their play area and their toys - or their seats and their political power. For eight years, women have been pushing for a bigger role in politics through the enactment of a law that would fulfil the requirements of the 2010 constitution, which states that "not more than two-thirds of the members of elective public bodies shall be of the same gender". But the latest attempt to pass the bill has failed, and now the "boys" and "girls" have gone home on a long holiday, stretching to February. Gone too is the opportunity - at least for now - to reform the playground, meaning Kenya's parliament continues to lag behind other East African countries in terms of gender balance. In Rwanda, more than 61% of MPs are women; in Tanzania it is 37%, while the figure for Uganda is 34%. In Kenya only 22% of legislators are women. (Webmaster's comment: In the United States IT IS ONLY 19%! Less than in Kenya. Western Civilization is a JOKE!) So what is getting in the way of giving women a bigger voice in government? There is one key reason: MALE FEAR!
12-3-18 The 'right to bare arms' in Australia's parliament
People on social media are showing their support for a female journalist after she revealed that she had been kicked out of Australia's parliament for showing too much flesh. Patricia Karvelas said she had been told to leave a question time session with politicians because "you can allegedly see too much skin." The incident has prompted comparisons between her outfit and the clothing choices of MP Julie Bishop, who often opts for short-sleeved or sleeveless dresses during parliamentary sessions. Now many people are taking to social media in support of the ABC News presenter, with some calling the decision to remove her outrageous and a joke. Speaking on ABC News Karvelas explained that a "polite" attendant came up to her and said her clothes showed "too much shoulder" and that she "needed to cover up more". Karvelas contested the request believing her outfit to be in keeping with parliamentary standards. Speaker Tony Smith said at the end of question time that he would investigate the matter. According to the Parliament of Australia website, standard of dress is a matter of "individual judgement", although the ultimate decision of what is acceptable rests with the speaker. Such standards "should involve good trousers, a jacket, collar and tie for men and a similar standard of formality for women". With the guidance being the same for both MPs and the press, many people including political reporter Airlie Walsh have highlighted certain inconsistencies. It is not the first time the issue has been raised. MP Adam Bandt tweeted that he had a failed attempt to change the "ridiculous 'bare arms' rule" last year. And it seems that Karvelas has been ejected on a previous occasion for showing too much shoulder. This situation has produced strong feelings from those online with one Twitter user calling the decision "degrading, insulting patriarchal sexism" that "demeans" women.
12-1-18 Growing up Afghan: 'My parents were told to swap me for a boy'
When Nargis Taraki became the fifth girl born to her parents in Afghanistan, her parents were told they should swap her with another baby in the village. Now 21, she has made it her life ambition to prove they were right to keep her. Nargis now campaigns for women's education and empowerment in her home country, and is one of the BBC's 2018 100 Women. In 1997 I opened my eyes to the world as my parents' fifth child, and their fifth girl. My father's sister, and other relatives, immediately put pressure on my mum to agree to my father taking a second wife. Taking a second or even third wife is not uncommon in Afghanistan, and is sometimes done because they believe a new wife could mean a new chance to have a male child. When she refused, they suggested that my father swap me for a boy. They even found a family in the village who was willing to give their boy away and take me. Swapping children is not something that is part of our culture, and I haven't heard of it happening before, but boys are more valued in Afghan society as the traditional family breadwinners.People deliberately said things to upset my mother and make her feel inferior for not having a son. Despite her refusal to part ways with me, some elders still kept approaching my father. But he had a completely different mentality. He told them he loved me, and he would one day prove to them that a daughter can achieve everything a son can. It was not an easy time for my father. He had a military background and a history of service in the previous Soviet-backed regime, and my native district at the time was controlled by people with religious or fundamentalist tendencies. So certain people in the village used to detest him and did not socialise with us. But my father believed in what he said, and he always stood by his word. Although there was pressure on my parents to swap me because I was a girl, it was a man who had the most positive impact on my character.
11-23-18 How angry housewives changed consumer activism forever
When meat prices spiked during the Great Depression, the women of Detroit got mad as hell — and launched a boycott that changed America. The women were fearless, but the meatmen called them communists. On the afternoon of July 27, 1935, the sounds of protest filled the Hamtramck, Michigan, shopping district, as a troop of 500 housewives descended on Joseph Campau Avenue with banners and picket signs reading: "Strike Against High Meat Prices. Don't Buy." It was six years into the Great Depression, and the women, many of whom came from working-class immigrant families, were demanding a 20 percent reduction in meat prices from the city's meat-packers and butcher shops. The picket was the first in a summer-long boycott that eventually spread out of the city's 2.09 square miles and into neighboring Detroit. It was led by a 32-year-old, 100-pound, first-generation Polish-American named Mary Zuk. In a state where unemployment topped 25 percent, and where layoffs by the burgeoning auto industry devastated working-class households, women like Zuk were still expected to put food on the table and stretch the family budget as far as it would go. Over the last three years, the price of meat had jumped 62 percent, according to author Ann Folino White's Plowed Under. Butchers claimed it wasn't their fault — they blamed President Roosevelt and the increased processing taxes caused by the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) — but the women of the country would not be placated. That spring, black and Jewish housewives in New York closed 4,000 butcher shops with picket lines, and housewives marched against rising meat prices in Chicago. They were peaceful; their aims were modest. The Hamtramck women felt no such restraint. They were cutthroat, boisterous, even militant. With Zuk at their helm, they would strike back hard, and change the nature of consumer activism in America.
11-21-18 Women refused entry to temple
India’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party is seeking to prevent women of menstruating age from entering a Hindu temple to the celibate god Ayyappan. Girls and women ages 10 to 50 had been barred from the Sabarimala temple since a Kerala High Court ruling in 1991, but in September the Supreme Court ruled that the site must be open to all worshippers. Since then, some 1,000 women have applied for access, but none has gotten in because demonstrators, led by BJP politicians, are physically blocking women from entering the site. Several local BJP leaders were arrested this week in the protests.
11-21-18 NY Stock Exchange President: 'A man wouldn't get that question'
Stacey Cunningham, the president of the New York Stock Exchange, says "society needs to change [its] expectations around what women should be doing and what men should be doing".
11-21-18 Low Incomes Tied to High Weight for Women, Not for Men
Americans' income has a significant connection to how much they weigh, but in totally different ways for men and women. For women, the lower the income, the higher their weight tends to be. For men, the reverse is true. American men in the past decade have weighed, on average, 10 pounds more in households with earnings of $75,000 or more (200 pounds) than in households with earnings of less than $30,000 (190 pounds). Women in the high-income bracket weigh, on average, 12 pounds less than those in low-income households -- 152 pounds versus 164 pounds, respectively.
- Low-income women weigh more on average than those with high incomes
- Low-income men weigh less on average than those with high incomes
- Gender, income related to views on being obese, desire to lose weight
Men, Women Differ by Income on Being Overweight, Wanting to Lose Weight
Income can also be a factor when men and women are asked whether they are overweight or underweight, whether they want to lose weight and whether they are seriously trying to lose weight.
- Thirty-eight percent of men with higher incomes describe themselves as overweight, compared with 28% of lower-income men. Among women, 35% in the highest income bracket say they are overweight, 10 percentage points below the 45% among lower- and middle-income women.
- Women in the highest income bracket are as likely as those in the lowest to say they want to lose weight (60% each), but among men, the higher the income, the greater the likelihood of wanting to lose weight.
- The percentage of women who say they are "seriously trying to lose weight" is lowest among those with annual household incomes of $75,000 and above (26%), while there is little difference by income among men.
11-19-18 Chinese erotic novelist jailed for 10 years for gay sex scenes
A Chinese writer has been given a 10 year sentence for writing and selling a novel which featured gay sex scenes. The writer, identified as Liu, was jailed by a court in Anhui province last month for producing and selling "obscene material". Her novel, titled "Occupation", featured "male homosexual behaviour... including perverted sexual acts like violation and abuse." But her lengthy jail term has sparked protest across Chinese social media. According to the Beijing News, Liu - better known by her online alias Tian Yi - has now filed an appeal to the court. Pornography is illegal in China. On 31 October, Liu was sentenced to jail by the People's Court of Wuhu for making and selling "obscene material" for profit, according to local news site Wuhu news. However, details of the hearing only emerged on Chinese media outlets this week. Police officials were first alerted to her novel after it started to gain popularity online. But many social media users argued that the sentence she received was excessive. "10 years for a novel? That's too much," said one social media user on Weibo. Another referenced an incident in 2013, where a former official was sentenced to eight years in prison for raping a four year old girl. "Those found guilty of rape get less than 10 years in jail. This writer gets 10 years," another Weibo user added.
11-16-18 Unequal pay: Early start, lifelong unfairness
“The gender pay gap starts earlier than you think,” said Renee Morad in NBCNews.com. The first bosses who underpay girls? Their own parents. Boys earn twice as much for household jobs as girls do: Data from the household-chore app Busy Kid shows boys taking in $13.80 a week in allowance, compared with just $6.71 for girls. In one experiment, by researcher Yasemin Besen-Cassino, “when girls asked for a raise, they were less likely than boys to get one.” It’s the same pattern that other studies have shown with women in the grown-up work world. You can see the pay gap in early jobs outside the home too, with teens as young as 14. Often, “young girls stay in freelance positions, like babysitting, and boys move into employee-type jobs, like working for a landscaping company.” Girls should learn early to negotiate for themselves, but employers—and parents—need to be aware of their own biases. Those kinds of biases are part of the reason the wage gap hasn’t really budged in a decade, said Jessica Dickler in CNBC.com. Despite increased attention paid to the issue, a woman still “makes about 80 cents for every dollar a man does.” The gap is smaller in tech fields, which have recently been under heavy scrutiny, with women earning 92 percent of their male counterparts’ salaries. But it’s worse in some of the highest-paid fields: In finance, women take home just 65 percent of men’s pay, and female doctors and surgeons get only 71 percent. The difference even persists when women set their own salaries, said Vanessa Fuhrmans in The Wall Street Journal. On average, in comparable companies, female founders/CEOs paid themselves an annual salary of $179,444, while men gave themselves $232,659. Why? Women founders “often have less breathing room than male entrepreneurs.” Women get “substantially” less venture money than do men and face more pressure to not “come across to backers as extravagant.” The lifetime gap in earnings makes it harder for women to plan for retirement, said Angela Antonelli in MarketWatch.com. Women invest more in education, and “two-thirds of the more than $1.3 trillion in total U.S. student loan debt is owed by women.” They often end up behind on savings; nearly one-half of older unmarried women rely almost entirely on Social Security in retirement. Women who leave the workforce to care for an ailing parent lose a startling average of $300,000 in wages and benefits. And, of course, women live longer. The earnings gap in younger years turns into a financial gap in old age that the U.S. has done little to address.
11-16-18 Sophia Jex-Blake: The battle to be Scotland's first female doctor
Edinburgh University was the first in Britain to admit women - but it was a reluctant change. This month marks the anniversary of the first intake in the 1860s and the riot that the reaction to their studies caused a year later. Sophia Jex-Blake led the women's education charge in Britain, but faced opposition to her aspirations from an early age. Jex-Blake wanted to be a doctor in a time when it was unthinkable for a woman to be one. She wanted to change that and eventually, she did. Born in Hastings, she was privately educated and was initially stopped from attending college by her parents. But determined to pursue her education, a life campaigning for women's rights was apparently destined. After a period of study in Edinburgh, Jex-Blake travelled to the US in 1865 to learn more about women's education. Here she met Dr Lucy Sewell, an activist for health and social reform, and resident physician at the New England hospital for women. This meeting, alongside time spent as an assistant at the hospital inspired Jex-Blake to chase her dream of being a doctor. The fight was just starting. She was refused entry to Harvard on gender grounds, a rejection letter read: "There is no provision for the education of women in any department of this university." Resolute, her American quest for education continued, but she was forced to return to England following the death of her father. With bleak prospects for women's education at home, Jex-Blake looked north to Scotland, where a more enlightened view on education was percolating. In March 1869 after much internal strain, Edinburgh University approved Jex-Blake's application, but it was eventually rejected by the university court on the grounds the university could not make the necessary arrangements "in the interest of one lady". Undeterred by her latest setback, a campaign carried in The Scotsman newspaper called on more women to join her. The story gathered attention and more women joined her cause, pushing to study medicine in Edinburgh. They became known as the Edinburgh seven. In November 1869, the women passed the matriculation exam and were admitted to the university medical school. The university charged them higher fees and the women, led by Jex-Blake were forced to arrange lectures for themselves due to a loophole whereby university staff were permitted but not required to teach women. This was just the start of the problems they would face.
11-11-18 Meet the women trying to break the Vatican glass ceiling
"Who are we to put limits on God?". The role of women in the Catholic Church is being reassessed after a Synod held in October launched new proposals for churches and diocese across the world. But women weren't allowed to vote in this Synod, and some are now not just asking for votes – they’re asking for shared ministry, or women’s ordination.
11-10-18 Iran women attend Asian Champions League football final
Hundreds of Iranian women have been allowed to attend the Asia Champions League final in Tehran, Iran's semi-official Isna news agency reports. The move is being seen as a possible end to more than 35 years of exclusion of women from top matches. Most were said to be relatives of players or members of women's teams. They watched the local team Persepolis lose to Japan's Kashima Antlers. Football's world governing body Fifa is working with Iran to end the ban. Last month about 100 women were allowed to watch a friendly between Iran and Bolivia, but restrictions were quickly reinstated. In March this year 35 women were detained for trying to attend a match between Persepolis and fellow Tehran team Esteqlal. Fifa's president, Gianni Infantino, was also in attendance at that match, along with Iranian Sport Minister Masoud Soltanifar. Iranian women and girls have rarely been allowed at men's sporting events since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and have not been able to attend top football matches since 1981. Female fans from other countries have, however, been allowed to attend some games. Open Stadiums, a group which campaigns for access to venues for women in Iran, handed a petition to Fifa this week signed by more than 200,000 people, Reuters news agency reported. Ending the exclusion "has been our dream for decades", a spokesperson for the group told the agency. "We are also excluded from public happiness and excitement."
11-10-18 Victoria's Secret 'sorry' for transgender model comments
Victoria's Secret chief marketing officer has apologised for comments he made about transgender mowsp_rte_replace_markerdels. In an interview with Vogue magazine, Ed Razek had said the lingerie company's annual shows were "a fantasy" and should not include them. Mr Razek later said his remarks were "insensitive". The 2018 show took place on 8 November in New York, featuring models Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner. Victoria's Secret has been grappling with falling sales since 2016. In a wide-ranging interview published on Thursday, Mr Razek and the company's executive vice-president of public relations, Monica Mitro, were asked whether the brand was putting more emphasis on diversity. Mr Razek, who is part of the casting team, admitted that he had "considered" putting transgender and plus-sized models in the show, but had not as the company "did not market to the whole world". Mr Razek went on to say: "Does the brand think about diversity? Yes. Do we offer larger sizes? Yes... Shouldn't you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don't think we should." "The show is a fantasy. It's a 42-minute entertainment special. That's what it is. It is the only one of its kind in the world," he said. Following a backlash on social media, Victoria's Secret released a statement from Mr Razek on Twitter, which read: "To be clear, we absolutely would cast a transgender model in our show. We've had transgender models come to castings... And like many others, they didn't make it." "It was never about gender," he added. Others defended Mr Razek's comments, arguing shoppers did not have to buy the product if they did not agree with the company's ethos.
11-7-18 Women in physics: Why there’s a problem and how we can solve it
Women are still wildly under-represented in physics – but it doesn't have to be like that. Our special report looks at the steps we can take to improve things. WHEN we were 16 years old, my friend Karen and I were interviewed for an educational video. With our hair thick with styling mousse, pale blue eyeliner and misplaced teen swagger, we explained why we had chosen to study physics. We were the only two girls in our school that year who had. Our video was going to inspire other girls to do the same. We were going to change the world. Thirty years on, it is safe to say our ambition failed. In 2016, no girls studied A level physics in almost half of the schools in England that admit girls. In the same year, just one-third of schools had two or more girls taking the subject. It is a similar picture across much of the world. Despite all the initiatives to attract more girls into physics, the proportion remains stubbornly low. Physics and sexism has been thrust into the spotlight in recent weeks by the incendiary comments made by theoretical physicist Alessandro Strumia. At a workshop on gender in physics, of all places, at CERN near Geneva in Switzerland, he claimed that women were less capable than men at physics research. The day after he was suspended by CERN, Donna Strickland became only the third woman to receive the Nobel prize in physics in its 117-year history, sharing this year’s award for her pioneering work on lasers. All this paints a picture of physics as a career that is unwelcoming to women to start with and isolating for many of those who do make it. But why is this still the case in 2018 – and what can we do about it?
10-29-18 Stacey Abrams: The Deep South woman vying to make history
A battle for the governor's mansion in the US state of Georgia features a woman vying to become the first black American female to run a state. Knots of people clustered outside Hendershots coffeehouse wait for a black SUV to arrive from Atlanta 70 miles away. The crowd untangles into a line of supporters wrapped around the exposed brick building, as evening sets upon the college town of Athens, Georgia, on an October autumn day. A blend of parents, professors and older residents, adorned in campaign buttons and clutching signs, interrupt groups of eager students standing outside the trendy live music venue. "Remember to vote!" they say. It's a scene reserved for national politicians or pop stars breezing through town, but the whirring sounds of chatter and intermittent chants are for Stacey Abrams, a 44-year-old lawyer and former state legislator, who is deadlocked in a contentious race with Georgia's secretary of state, Republican Brian Kemp. The race is emblematic of two narratives reverberating throughout the US in the wake of the election of President Donald Trump. Mr Kemp, a self-described "politically incorrect conservative", echoes the brand of Trump Republicanism that focuses on tax cuts, protecting gun rights and "rounding up criminal illegals" in his truck - as noted in one of his early political ads. The competing narrative is that of Ms Abrams, a progressive female candidate of colour who has appealed to minority voters, a group on which she has focused much of her campaign. In fact, of the nearly 945,000 Georgia residents who have already cast an early vote, about 30% are black, a markedly higher rate than the 2014 mid-term figures. Experts point out that North Carolina and South Carolina have not yet seen a similar increase among black voters, which could underscore just how energised Ms Abrams' base may be. And more Georgians are registered to vote than ever before - 6.9 million out of the state's 10.4 million residents.
10-26-18 India's Sabarimala: Over 2,000 arrested for blocking women from temple
Police in India have arrested 2,200 people for protesting against the entry of women into a prominent Hindu temple in the southern state of Kerala. Hundreds clashed with women to prevent them from entering the Sabarimala shrine last week, despite a historic Supreme Court ruling. Violent protests were also held in different parts of the state, defying the police's appeal for peace. The temple has historically been closed to women of "menstruating age". A senior police officer told BBC Hindi's Imran Qureshi that the protesters, including both men and women, have been arrested for rioting and unlawful assembly. "We have arrested those who prevented women from entering the temple and also those who violently protested against the court's order. We hope that this will act as a deterrent when the temple reopens in November," the officer said. The temple only opens for brief brief periods throughout the year. Massive protests meant that very few women attempted to enter the temple last week and those who tried were forced to turn back. Protesters believe that the ruling goes against the wishes of the deity, Lord Ayappa, himself. They say that the ban on women entering Sabarimala is not about menstruation alone - it is also in keeping with the wish of the deity who is believed to have laid down clear rules about the pilgrimage to seek his blessings. According to the temple's mythology, Lord Ayyappa is an avowed bachelor who has taken an oath of celibacy, hence the ban on the entry of women. Hinduism regards menstruating women as unclean and bars them from participating in religious rituals. While most Hindu temples allow women to enter as long as they are not menstruating, the Sabarimala temple was unusual in that it was one of the few that did not allow women in a broad age group to enter at all.
10-25-18 Sahle-Work Zewde becomes Ethiopia's first female president
Ethiopian members of parliament have elected Sahle-Work Zewde as the country's first female president. Ms Sahle-Work is an experienced diplomat who has now become Africa's only female head of state. Her election to the ceremonial position comes a week after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appointed a cabinet with half the posts taken up by women. After being sworn in, President Sahle-Work promised to work hard to make gender equality a reality in Ethiopia. Addressing parliament, she also pledged to promote peace: "I urge you all, to uphold our peace, in the name of a mother, who is the first to suffer from the absence of peace.'' The new president was keen to make a point about gender equality right from the start, telling MPs that if they thought she was talking too much about women, she had only just begun. There may now be male-female parity in the new cabinet but elsewhere there is still a long way to go. Ms Sahle-Work's appointment has been welcomed by Ethiopians on social media with many calling it "historic". She has been described as Ethiopia's first female head of state of the modern era, with some remembering Empress Zewditu who governed the country in the early part of the 20th Century.
10-12-18 Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift is often criticized for ducking political controversy, but she broke that silence this week to endorse two Democrats running for Congress from Tennessee. Swift, who moved to Nashville as a teenager, told her 112 million Instagram followers, “In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions.” But, she said, the record of incumbent GOP Sen. Marsha Blackburn “appalls and terrifies me.” Swift cited Blackburn’s opposition to “equal pay for women” and to reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, as well as her belief that businesses have the right to turn away gay couples. Swift said she plans to vote for Democrat Phil Bredesen, who’s running neck and neck with Blackburn.
10-6-18 Scientists condemn professor's 'morally reprehensible' talk
More than 1,600 scientists have so far signed a statement condemning the remarks of the Italian researcher who stated that physics was "built by men". Prof Alessandro Strumia presented an analysis to an audience of predominantly young female physicists which he claimed "proved" women were less capable at the subject than men. The statement at particlesforjustice.org says Prof Strumia's talk was "fundamentally unsound" and was "followed by open discrimination and personal attacks". In response, Prof Strumia told BBC News that the high-energy physics community was about 100 times bigger than the number that have so far signed the statement. He said that the signatories "mostly come from those countries more affected by political correctness, which I indicated as the problem. This is what leads to academicians that want (to get) others fired for having 'morally reprehensible' ideas". The Pisa University-affiliated researcher made his comments - first reported by the BBC - during a workshop at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (Cern) - the lab on the Franco-Swiss border that discovered the Higgs Boson. Cern has since suspended his participation from any activities at the lab. Physicists from across the world are continuing to add their names to the statement. "Strumia's arguments are morally reprehensible," it reads. "Belittling the ability and legitimacy of scientists of colour and white women scientists using such flimsy pretexts is disgraceful, and it reveals a deep contempt for more than half of humanity that clearly comes from some source other than scientific logic." The workshop at which Prof Strumia was speaking was aimed at helping women to become particle physicists.
10-5-18 Hundreds of physicists condemn sexist talk at CERN on women in physics
Following a talk by Alessandro Strumia at particle physics lab CERN that sparked outrage about sexism, hundreds of researchers have rallied together to push back against his claims. Particle physicists are not happy with Alessandro Strumia. Last week, the particle physicist gave a talk at CERN claiming that men are innately better at physics research than women. Now, the high-energy physics community is pushing back. The presentation, in which Strumia claimed that the reason there are more male physicists than female is because the men are “over-performing”, and that physics was “invented and built by men”, faced widespread and immediate backlash. Many of Strumia’s colleagues, along with others both inside and beyond the field of physics, called the talk sexist and regressive and pointed out that it was particularly inappropriate to make such claims at a workshop specifically on women in high energy physics. Now, a letter penned by a group of 19 physicists and signed by about 250 more of their colleagues states, “As particle physicists, we are appalled by Strumia’s actions and his stated views on women in high energy physics.” This group letter follows a CERN statement which called the presentation “highly offensive” and suspended Strumia from his projects at CERN. “It is clear to all of us that Strumia is not an expert on these topics and is misusing his physics credentials to put himself forward as one,” the letter states. “The thin veneer of scientific rigor with which Strumia’s talk began was followed by open discrimination and personal attacks, which we condemn unconditionally.”
10-3-18 Speeding up evolution to create useful proteins wins the chemistry Nobel
A trio of researchers pioneered techniques that led to useful drugs and biofuels. Techniques that put natural evolution on fast-forward to build new proteins in the lab have earned three scientists this year’s Nobel Prize in chemistry. Frances Arnold of Caltech won for her method of creating customized enzymes for biofuels, environmentally friendly detergents and other products. She becomes the fifth woman to win the Nobel Prize in chemistry since it was first awarded in 1901. Gregory Winter of the University of Cambridge and George Smith of the University of Missouri in Columbia were recognized for their development and use of a technique called phage display. This molecule-manufacturing process can generate biomolecules for new drugs. The trio will share the 9-million-Swedish-kronor prize (about $1 million), with Arnold getting half and Winter and Smith splitting the other half. “Wow, well-deserved!” says Paul Dalby, a biochemical engineer at University College London. “Protein engineering as a field is absolutely founded upon their work.” In the 1990s, Arnold wanted to make an enzyme that would break down a milk protein called casein in an organic liquid, rather than in water. Instead of trying to manually sculpt the chemical building blocks of that enzyme, subtilisin E, to give it the right properties, she opted for a more hands-off approach.
10-3-18 Four women who changed the face of physics
Donna Strickland has become only the third woman in history to win the Nobel prize for Physics. She joins Marie Curie, who won in 1903, and Maria Goeppert-Mayer, who was awarded the prize in 1963. Here are four other women who have changed the face of physics.
- Hertha Ayrton, British physicist and mathematician She helped with experiments in physics and electricity, becoming an expert in her own right on the subject of the electric arc - an electrical breakdown of gas.
- Vera Rubin, US astronomer Her work confirmed the existence of a type of invisible matter known as dark matter. In 1974, she helped provide evidence that the stars at the edges of galaxies move faster than expected.
- Fabiola Gianotti, Italian particle physicist She joined Cern in 1994, where she worked on the Atlas experiment, which pinpointed the Higgs, the sub-atomic particle that helps give mass to the building blocks of nature. She now leads the organisation, which is home to 10,000 scientists from more than 100 nationalities.
- Jocelyn Bell Burnell, British astrophysicist As a research student at Cambridge University's Cavendish laboratory, she was looking at data from a new radio telescope she helped to build when she spotted a faint and unusual signal: repeating pulses of radio waves.
10-3-18 Protein research takes Chemistry Nobel
The 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to three scientists for their discoveries in enzyme research. Americans Frances Arnold and George P Smith will share the prize with Briton Gregory Winter, who is based at Cambridge University. This year's winners used a technique called directed evolution to create new proteins. These have been used in areas as diverse as the manufacture of new drugs and green fuels. Frances Arnold, from Caltech in Pasadena, was first to use a method mimicking natural selection in order to develop enzymes that would perform specific tasks. Enzymes are biological catalysts - which speed up chemical reactions in biological cells. Prof Arnold's directed evolution techniques are now routinely used to develop new enzymes. George P Smith and Sir Gregory Winter developed a technique called phage display to evolve new proteins. They used bacteriophages, viruses that infect bacteria, to generate new antibodies - large proteins that are used by the immune system to neutralise harmful bacteria and viruses. The first antibody based on this method, adalimumab, was approved in 2002 and is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and inflammatory bowel diseases. Since then, phage display has produced antibodies that can neutralise toxins, counteract autoimmune diseases and treat metastatic cancer. Prof Dame Carol Robinson, president of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said that directed evolution of enzymes and antibodies "are now transforming medicine. It would have been hard to predict the outcome of this research at the start - this speaks to the need for basic research". Frances Arnold is the fifth woman to win a Nobel Prize in Chemistry; the last female winner was Ada Yonath from Israel, who shared the 2009 award for discoveries in the structure and function of the ribosome - a minute particle involved in the synthesis of proteins in the body.
10-3-18 Chemistry Nobel Prize awarded for harnessing evolution to help humans
he chemistry Nobel Prize goes to Frances Arnold, George Smith, and Gregory Winter for controlling evolution to create proteins that solve chemical problems. The Nobel Prize in chemistry has been awarded to three scientists who have harnessed the power of evolution to develop biological molecules with useful applications. Frances Arnold, based at the California Institute of Technology in the US, developed a way to direct the evolution of enzymes to make them much more effective at catalysing chemical reactions. Her work has found applications in brain imaging, biofuels, pharmaceuticals and the chemical industry. She has been awarded half of the prize money, and is the fifth woman to win a chemistry Nobel. The other half is split between George Smith at the University of Missouri and Gregory Winter at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, UK. This pair developed ways to develop therapeutic antibodies, which are now used to treat autoimmune diseases, anthrax and cancer. “This has formed the basis for a pharmaceutical revolution,” said Nobel committee member Sara Snogerup Linse while announcing the prize. All three have applied the principles of Darwin in test tubes, said committee chair Claes Gustafsson. Their work is an extension of selective breeding, which has been practised by humans for millennia. Enzymes are proteins made in cells which catalyse chemical reactions, making them work much faster. They have evolved over millions of years, but in 1993, Arnold worked out that you could direct their evolution and make the process happen much faster.
10-3-18 First woman Physics Nobel winner in 55 years
The Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to a woman for the first time in 55 years. Donna Strickland, from Canada, is only the third woman winner of the award, along with Marie Curie, who won in 1903, and Maria Goeppert-Mayer, who was awarded the prize in 1963. Dr Strickland shares this year's prize with Arthur Ashkin, from the US, and Gerard Mourou, from France. It recognises their discoveries in the field of laser physics. Dr Ashkin developed a laser technique described as optical tweezers, which is used to study biological systems. Drs Mourou and Strickland paved the way for the shortest and most intense laser pulses ever created. They developed a technique called Chirped Pulse Amplification (CPA). It has found uses in laser therapy targeting cancer and in the millions of corrective laser eye surgeries which are performed each year. Speaking to the BBC, Dr Strickland said it was "surprising" it had been such a long time since a woman had won the award. However, she stressed that she had "always been treated as an equal", and that "two men also won it with me, and they deserve this prize as much if not more than me". The award comes a few days after a physicist gave a "highly offensive" lecture at the Cern particle physics laboratory in Geneva in which he said that physics had been "built by men" and that male scientists were being discriminated against. He has since been suspended by the research centre. Dr Strickland called the physicist's remarks "silly" and said she never took such comments "personally". The last woman to win the physics prize, German-born American physicist Maria Goeppert-Mayer, took the award for her discoveries about the nuclei of atoms. Polish-born physicist Marie Curie shared the 1903 award with her husband Pierre Curie and Antoine Henri Becquerel for their research into radioactivity. (Webmaster's comment: Men's supposed superiority is a house of cards. At its foundation it's built on physical brute force used to keep women "in their place" cause utimately physical brute force is all men really've got.)
10-2-18 It has been a good/bad week for women in physics
At last, a third Nobel, but it has been a decidedly mixed week for female physicists. IS THERE a biological difference between male and female brains? It is a question almost everyone has an opinion on, but where firm evidence is lacking. Male brains are, on average, larger than female brains, but the size is not indicative of cognitive ability. Studies of the brain’s anatomy also show, on average, that there are structural differences in the brains of women and men, but the variation between individuals is far larger than that between the sexes – in other words, there is no such thing as a “female” or “male” brain. As for what goes on inside our brains, countless studies have investigated whether women think differently to men, are more likely to have certain kinds of personalities or favour particular interests. The answer? Probably not. A 2014 review of more than 100 behavioural measures found there was no way to accurately group them into two distinct categories. In other words, personality elements such as an interest in science exist on a continuous spectrum. That specific example is particularly relevant this week, following a talk by physicist Alessandro Strumia. Speaking at a conference held at CERN, home of the Large Hadron Collider, Strumia claimed that women are vastly under-represented in the field because “interest and ability [are] not uniformly distributed”. In other words, it is not sexism holding women back, but inherent biological differences. (Strumia has since been suspended from his work with CERN.)
10-2-18 Donna Strickland is the third woman ever to win a physics Nobel Prize
The winner of the Nobel Prize in physics includes a woman for the first time in 55 years, going to Arthur Ashkin, Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland. The 2018 Nobel Prize in physics has been awarded to three physicists for their work on lasers. One half of the award goes to Arthur Ashkin, who invented optical tweezers – a way to manipulate tiny objects using focused beams of light – and the other half is shared between Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland for their method of generating high-intensity ultra short optical pulses, which can be used to cut or drill very precise holes in material, including living tissue. This is the first time in 55 years that a woman has won the Nobel Prize in physics, bringing the total number of female recipients of the prize to three. Ashkin invented optical tweezers in 1986. Optical tweezers can grab tiny objects such as atoms, viruses, bacteria and other living cells, holding them with weak forces arising from their interaction with the light. Ashkin first found that he could use a laser to nudge particles around, like pushing ping pong balls with a hairdryer. But his tweezers soon became precise enough to grip living bacteria without harming them. Physicists and biologists have used optical tweezers to probe and measure forces between particles and the stretchiness of DNA. They have also been used to clear blockages from blood vessels. Mourou and Strickland’s breakthrough came in 1985, when Strickland was studying for her PhD with Mourou.
10-2-18 Donna Strickland: The 'laser jock' Nobel prize winner
Canadian scientist Donna Strickland calls herself a "laser jock". The physics professor used the description in an interview with a Canadian newspaper, where she discussed efforts to get young people interested in the realm of physics. Dr Strickland has spent much of her life studying and teaching physics, and describes her research as "fun". Now she shares the distinction of being one of three women to ever win the Nobel Prize for physics. Dr Strickland, along with Arthur Ashkin, from the US and Gérard Mourou, from France, were awarded the prize on Tuesday "for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics". The scientist was born in 1959 in Guelph, Ontario. She went on to receive her first degree in the field of physics in 1981, graduating from McMaster University. She studied optics at the University of Rochester, in New York state, working towards her PhD under Mr Mourou. It was at the University of Rochester that the pair co-invented Chirped Pulse Amplification, a "method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses" for which they were awarded this year's prize. That invention has a variety of applications, including corrective laser eye surgery. She has been teaching at the University of Waterloo, in Ontario, Canada, since 1997, where she oversees an ultrafast laser lab and works with a team of undergraduate and graduate students.
10-1-18 Cern scientist Alessandro Strumia suspended after comments
A senior scientist who said physics "was invented and built by men" has been suspended with immediate effect from working with the European nuclear research centre Cern. Prof Alessandro Strumia, of Pisa University, made the comments during a presentation organised by the group. He said, in comments first reported by the BBC's Pallab Ghosh, that physics was "becoming sexist against men". Cern said on Monday it was suspending Prof Strumia pending an investigation. It stated that his presentation was "unacceptable". "Cern always strives to carry out its scientific mission in a peaceful and inclusive environment," the statement reads, calling the presentation "contrary to the Cern Code of Conduct". The organisation said it was "unfortunate" the views of the scientist, who works at a collaborating university, "risks overshadowing the important message and achievements of the event". Prof Strumia, who regularly works at Cern, was speaking at a workshop in Geneva on gender and high energy physics. He told his audience of young, predominantly female physicists that his results "proved" that "physics is not sexist against women. However the truth does not matter, because it is part of a political battle coming from outside". (Webmaster's comment: Men's hatred of women cuts across all occupation boundries!)
10-1-18 It is 2018, so why are we still debating whether women can do physics?
A talk by a physicist at CERN suggesting that women aren’t as good as men at physics has sparked outrage. I was there, and people are right to be offended, says Jess Wade. Last Friday, I spoke at a workshop on gender and high energy physics being held at the CERN particle physics laboratory, in Geneva. I was invited to the conference to talk about the UK’s gender equality programmes in physics. I am very proud to be involved in these schemes, such as those run by my university, Imperial College London, which is committed to improving equality and diversity. I knew that I would face people who appreciate data and evidence, and spent a while putting together a talk that showed the rationale behind certain initiatives and their impact on the broader scientific community. The organisers had worked hard to make this a great conference – it was full of early career researchers working in string theory who were given the opportunity to present their exciting work at CERN, a world-renowned institution. Even for a non-high-energy physicist (I work in experimental solid state physics), this was a big honour. Throughout the day, there were opportunities to discuss the challenges that these young scientists might face throughout their career because of their gender – a ridiculous but unfortunate reality even in 2018. Sadly, the event was overshadowed by a talk given by Alessandro Strumia at the University of Pisa, Italy, a long-standing member of the CERN collaboration. He had told organisers he would present a historical look at women’s representation in academic publishing. Instead, he insulted the professors coordinating the meeting, the audience of young women and, now, women scientists all over the world. In a nutshell; he claimed that women weren’t as good at physics, were promoted too early and received disproportionate funding given their ability. Unlike my talk, backed by evidence, he cited a bunch of poorly thought out gender science from right-wing thinkers. These included James Damore, who was fired from Google last year for holding similar views. What is especially awful is the number of people who say that this isn’t news – his opinions are well known and commonplace within the string theory community. We shouldn’t be putting up with this. His remarks were offensive, but also damaging. When people in positions of power spread such ideas, they teach the next generation of scientists that such behaviour is okay. Obviously, it isn’t. (Webmaster's comment: Fear of women prevades the fabric of our society! Men suppress them every chance they get!)
10-1-18 Physicist sparks gender row after claiming women are worse at physics
Physicist Alessandro Strumia gave a talk at CERN, home of the Large Hadron Collider, claiming that women are inferior to men when it comes to physics research. Since publication of this story, CERN has suspended Alessandro Strumia from any activities, pending an investigation. A physicist speaking at CERN, the home of the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, has sparked outrage after claiming that women are less capable of physics research. Alessandro Strumia at the University of Pisa, Italy, was speaking to an audience of women beginning their careers in science at a CERN workshop on gender and high energy physics. He gave a talk claiming that the reason men are so over-represented in the field of physics is because they are “over-performing”, and that physics was “invented and built by men”. Strumia also claimed that women have “been allocated too much funding” and been “promoted into positions of power unfairly”. He mentioned people such as Lawrence Summers, the president of Harvard University who resigned in 2006 after making similar comments. Strumia’s conclusion: “Physics is not sexist against women. However truth does not matter.” His claims have been widely condemned. CERN has released a statement describing his talk as “highly offensive”. “CERN is a place where everyone is welcome, and all have the same opportunities, regardless of ethnicity, beliefs, gender or sexual orientation,” the statement continued. “When looking at the history of science, it’s easy to imagine that the absence of women was women’s fault,” says Angela Saini, author of Inferior: How science got women wrong. “In reality, until well into the 20th century, women were deliberately excluded by men from universities and institutions, denied degrees, honours, even their names on papers.” “When anyone suggests women have less aptitude, what they’re doing is trying to resurrect the sexism of the past, to reverse the clock back to when women had even fewer rights and opportunities, when they were believed to be intellectually inferior. It’s cowardly and inexcusable.” This incident is the latest of many in the world of science and technology. Last year, for instance, an engineer at Google made similar claims. (Webmaster's comment: Men still full of fear of women. Bring back the inquisition!)
10-1-18 Cern scientist: 'Physics built by men - not by invitation'
A senior scientist has given what has been described as a "highly offensive" presentation about the role of women in physics, the BBC has learned. At a workshop organised by Cern, Prof Alessandro Strumia of Pisa University said that "physics was invented and built by men, it's not by invitation". He said male scientists were being discriminated against because of ideology rather than merit. He was speaking at a workshop in Geneva on gender and high energy physics. Prof Strumia has since defended his comments, saying he was only presenting the facts. Cern, the European nuclear research centre, described Prof Strumia's presentation as "highly offensive". The centre, which discovered the Higgs Boson in 2012, has removed slides used in the talk from its website "in line with a code of conduct that does not tolerate personal attacks and insults". Prof Strumia, who regularly works at Cern, presented the results of a study of published research papers from an online library. He told his audience of young, predominantly female physicists that his results "proved" that "physics is not sexist against women. However the truth does not matter, because it is part of a political battle coming from outside". He produced a series of graphs which, he claimed, showed that women were hired over men whose research was cited more by other scientists in their publications, which is an indication of higher quality. He also presented data that he claimed showed that male and female researchers were equally cited at the start of their careers but men scored progressively better as their careers progressed. Prof Strumia pointed to behavioural research which he suggested may account for the disparity. One study, he told his audience, indicated that "men prefer working with things and women prefer working with people" and another, he claimed, suggested that there was a "difference even in children before any social influence".
9-28-18 Corporations: Do quotas help women?
The California Senate has delivered a “landmark” bill to the governor to level the corporate playing field, said Jorge Ortiz in USA Today. The bill, SB 826, mandates that every publicly traded California company include at least one woman on its board of directors by the end of 2019. That would go up to two or three women directors by 2021, depending on a board’s size. Women now make up 47 percent of America’s workforce, but just 17.7 percent of corporate board members; some European countries have set a 40 percent minimum. California has pushed for better conditions for women, especially in tech, said Sarah Castellanos in WSJ.com. But all the attention has increased the share of women in technical roles by a mere 1 percentage point, to about 25 percent. Only “direct support” from CEOs and board members will change this. Give me a break, said Johanna Sigurdardottir in The New York Times. Things would definitely change if women and men roamed the corridors of corporate power in equal numbers. I should know—I was the first female prime minister of Iceland, appointed as we faced intense economic turmoil. “Luckily, we were able to drag the country back from the brink.” A key reason for our success “was the role women played.” Although there were an equal number of men and women in my cabinet, “there were hardly any” women running the Icelandic banks that defaulted. The banks run by women actually “provided the best examples of how to weather the storm.” Give women a chance, and we will “change the world for the better.” (Webmaster's comment: It works in Europe and it would work in the United States! It's just the American male hatred of women blocking it!)
9-28-18 Unequal Statistics
At every age, married men in the U.S. earn more than their single male colleagues. At 45, married men had an average income of about $85,000 a year. Unmarried men, by contrast, earned only $50,000—close to the $48,000 for single women and the $51,000 earned by married women.
9-28-18 Sabarimala temple: India's top court revokes ban on women
India's Supreme Court has said women can no longer be barred from entering the Sabarimala temple, considered to be one of the holiest for Hindus. The temple in Kerala barred women of a "menstruating age" - defined as between the ages of 10 and 50 - from entering. Menstruating women are not allowed to participate in religious rituals or enter temples, as they are considered "unclean" in Hinduism. The ruling came after a petition argued the custom violated gender equality. While most Hindu temples allow women to enter as long as they are not menstruating, the Sabarimala temple is unusual in that it is one of a few temples that does not allow women in the broad age group to enter at all. Millions of devotees visit Sabarimala every year. In the judgment Chief Justice Dipak Misra said that "religion is for one dignity and identity", adding that "the right to practise religion is available to both men and women". The impending retirement of Justice Misra has seen a flurry of historic liberal rulings from the court in recent days, including the striking down of colonial-era laws that criminalised adultery and gay sex.
9-22-18 The impossible task of peering into the minds of others
Humans are really terrible at putting themselves in someone else's shoes. In April 2018, a viral challenge took Twitter by storm. It was posed by podcaster Whitney Reynolds: Women, describe yourself the way a male writer would. The dare hit a sweet spot. Many could summon up passages from books containing terrible, sexualized descriptions of women. Some of us recalled Haruki Murakami, whose every novel can be summarized as: "Protagonist is an ordinary man, except lots of really beautiful women want to sleep with him." Others remembered J.M. Coetzee, and his variations on the plot: "Tenured male professor in English literature sleeps with beautiful female undergraduate." It was a way for us to joke about the fact that so much great literature was written by men who could express perfectly detailed visual descriptions of the female body, and yet possessed such an impoverished understanding of the female mind. This is why the philosophical project of trying to map the contours of other minds needs a reality check. If other humans are beyond our comprehension, what hope is there for understanding the experience of animals, artificial intelligence, or aliens? I am a literature scholar. Over thousands of years of literary history, authors have tried and failed to convey an understanding of Others (with a capital "O"). Writing fiction is an exercise that stretches an author's imagination to its limits. And fiction shows us, again and again, that our capacity to imagine other minds is extremely limited. It took feminism and post-colonialism to point out that writers were systematically misrepresenting characters who weren't like them. Male authors, it seems, still struggle to present convincing female characters a lot of the time. The same problem surfaces again when writers try to introduce a figure with a different ethnicity to their own, and fail spectacularly.
9-21-18 Guess who talks most
Women are rarely heard on corporate earnings calls, corporate America’s most important public discussions. Male participants spoke 92 percent of the time, according to a 19-year study of more than 155,000 company conference calls. Although the disparity is partly due to male executives and analysts outnumbering women, men also simply talk more.
9-10-18 US Open 2018: Serena Williams' claims of sexism backed by WTA
Serena Williams' claims of sexism in the US Open final have been backed by the governing body of women's tennis. WTA chief executive Steve Simon said the umpire showed Williams a different level of tolerance over Saturday's outbursts than if she had been a man. She got a code violation for coaching, a penalty point for racquet abuse and a game penalty for calling the umpire a "thief" in the defeat by Naomi Osaka. The American said it was "sexist" to have been penalised a game. "The WTA believes that there should be no difference in the standards of tolerance provided to the emotions expressed by men versus women," Simon said in a statement. "We do not believe that this was done last night." He also called for coaching to be allowed "across the sport". Umpire Carlos Ramos penalised Williams after seeing her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, making a hand gesture. The Frenchman later admitted he was trying to coach his player. The head of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), which organises the US Open, said men "are badgering the umpire on the changeovers and nothing happens". "We watch the guys do this all the time," USTA chief Katrina Adams said. "There's no equality when it comes to what the men are doing to the chair umpires and what the women are doing, and I think there has to be some consistency across the board. "I'm all about gender equality and I think when you look at that situation these are conversations that will be imposed in the next weeks. We have to treat each other fairly and the same." BBC tennis presenter Sue Barker, who said: "I've sat courtside watching the men ranting at umpires and they haven't been given a violation." (Webmaster's comment: Hatred of women penetrates every activity and level of our society!)
9-10-18 Man arrested after breakfast with woman in Saudi Arabia
An Egyptian man in Saudi Arabia has been arrested after a video of him having breakfast with a woman went viral on Twitter. In the video, a man with an Egyptian dialect eats breakfast beside a woman wearing a full face veil, who many assumed to be Saudi. This is in contravention with law in Saudi Arabia, where in workplaces or eateries like McDonald's and Starbucks, families and single men have to sit in different areas. Women must sit separately from single men in these places. (Webmaster's comment: I once dated a women from India who believed she had committed a sin by simply having lunch with a man. Unbelievable!)They are not allowed to exercise most activities without being accompanied by their male guardians, usually a father or husband, but possibly a brother or a son. The man was arrested by the Saudi Ministry of Labour and Social Development, who accused him of "committing several violations and taking up a post exclusively reserved for Saudis". The Arabic hashtag "an Egyptian having breakfast with a Saudi" has been used over 113,000 times on Twitter, where it has become the centre of a cultural divide.
9-7-18 100 Women: The truth behind the 'bra-burning' feminists
Fifty years ago, a protest against a Miss America beauty pageant in New Jersey sparked off the iconic - and mythical - image of the "bra-burning feminist". A group of women hurled mops, lipsticks and high heels into a "Freedom Trash Can". The idea was to symbolically throw away things that oppressed women, says Robin Morgan, one of the organisers. Passers-by were invited to join in. "I remember one young woman took off her bra," Ms Morgan tells BBC 100 Women. "[She] eased it out from under her shirt and threw it in to great cheers." It was a gesture that made headlines around the world, securing the protesters a place in history. Although most of the women who took part in the Freedom Trash Can event had previous experience in the civil rights or anti-Vietnam War movements, none had ever demonstrated for women's rights before. "We were young radicals, just discovering feminism because we were tired of making coffee but not policy," says Ms Morgan. They had also realised that this was a fight they needed to take on themselves. "We already knew that the male right was not our friend," she says. "We thought the male left were our brothers [but] discovered that was not really the case when we talked about our own rights." None of the women could have imagined that their protest would still have resonance, 50 years on. "Some feminist historians mark [it] as the real beginning of the current wave of feminism," says Ms Morgan. "[But] while flattering and quite lovely to hear, [it] is not true. There were already groups like the National Organisation for Women in existence." But what stuck in the public consciousness about the protest was the image of the "bra-burning feminist" - something that paradoxically never actually happened.
9-7-18 South Africa engineer Manglin Pillay sacked after sexism furore
The head of South Africa's civil engineering institution (Saice) has been sacked after he wrote that few women take up the profession because they are "more predisposed to caring". Manglin Pillay said that women preferred to "raise children than to be at the beck and call of shareholders". He later apologised but Saice said it had terminated his contract due concern from its members. Just 5% of Saice's 6,000 professional members are women. South Africa's Commission for Gender Equality welcomed Mr Pillay's departure saying it would help the "fight against sexism and objectifying of women". Mr Pillay's original comments came in his column in July's edition of Saice's house magazine Civil Engineering. He was discussing research on why fewer women than men take up careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). He wrote that "more men occupy high-profile executive posts... because of appetite for work load and extreme performance requirements at that level". They attract "type-A personalities who are disagreeable at times, and highly competitive - workaholics... with almost no family, social or hobby time. "The reason why women do not occupy these positions is that women choose to rather have the flexibility to dedicate themselves to more important enterprises, like family and raising children, than to be at the beck and call of shareholders".
9-5-18 America's shameful indifference to women's baseball
Viera, Florida, is a place I had to Google. As rendered by Google Maps, the small "master planned community" appeared as a swirl of cul-de-sacs and quaint, scenic lakes that separate golf courses and neighborhoods with names like Arrivas Viera, Heritage Isle, and Indigo Crossing. Recent excitement in Viera is limited to a golf cart catching fire in a garage and a smoky air conditioning unit leading to the evacuation of a credit union. It is not the place you would expect to find an international sporting event. Nevertheless, it is here, 40 minutes outside of Orlando, that the World Baseball Softball Confederation decided to hold the 2018 Women's Baseball World Cup. The tournament was exciting, emotional, and a reaffirmation that women have always belonged in baseball. It was also a resounding reminder that the powers that be in American baseball do not care about women's participation in the sport. Baseball still faces deep, institutional segregation. Women are supposed to play softball while men play baseball. But women do play baseball. The Women's Baseball World Cup has been held every two years since the inaugural tournament in Edmonton, Canada, in 2004. It has taken until the eighth tournament for the U.S. to host the sport it claims as its national pastime — a bit of a head-scratcher, seeing as the men's equivalent, the World Baseball Classic, has been hosted in the United States since its inception. And, wouldn't you know it, that tournament is played in Major League Baseball stadiums. By contrast, the greatest women baseball players in the world are handed the USSSA Space Coast Stadium, a complex that once served as an MLB spring training facility until the teams moved on to greener pastures with real grass — not like this Florida stadium's unfortunate turf.
8-24-18 When a female doctor is best
Women who suffer a heart attack have significantly higher survival rates when a female doctor treats them in the emergency room, new research shows. Scientists analyzed nearly 582,000 heart attack cases in Florida between 1991 and 2010. When treated by a male physician, 12.6 percent of the male patients died, and 13.3 percent of the women. When a female doctor was in charge, the death rate dropped to 11.8 percent for men, and 12 percent for women. Women’s survival rates under a male doctor also improved when the physician was working with female colleagues. The reason for these disparities is unclear, reports BBC.com. But previous studies have shown that heart attack symptoms are harder to identify in women, so female doctors may be more attuned to these warning signs. More generally, the perception of heart disease as a typically “male” condition may delay women in seeking treatment—and make doctors less likely to take their complaints seriously. Lead author Brad Greenwood, from the University of Minnesota, says more research is needed to “figure out what’s going on.” (Webmaster's comment: Male bias against women is in every profession and service.)
8-23-18 Japan's first woman fighter pilot to blaze a trail in skies
A Japanese woman will be flying through the glass ceiling as she becomes her country's first female fighter pilot. First Lieutenant Misa Matsushima, 26, will begin duty on Friday having completed her training to fly F-15s, Japan's military has announced. "As the first female (fighter) pilot, I will open the way," she told reporters. Japan's air force began recruiting women in 1993 - except as fighter jet and reconnaissance aircraft pilots. It lifted that final ban in late 2015. "Ever since I saw the movie Top Gun when I was in primary school, I have always admired fighter jet pilots," the graduate of Japan's National Defence Academy told journalists. "I wish to continue to work hard to fulfil my duty - not just for myself but also for women who will follow this path in the future." Three other women are currently training to join the elite group of fighter pilots. The F-15J fighter jets they will pilot are twin-engine aircrafts designed for air-to-air combat with other jets. They can reach top speeds of about Mach 2.5 - 2.5 times the speed of sound or about 3,000 km/h (1,864 miles/h). "The first female fighter pilot of the Air Self-Defence Force is born," a tweet (in Japanese) from the Japan Air Self-Defence Force said. (Webmaster's comment: Russian women broke that ceiling 75 years ago during WWII. They had 1,000's of women bomber pilots and fighter pilots some which became fighter aces downing more than 10 Nazi male fighter pilots.)
8-23-18 The daunting plight of the career-minded woman
For many professional women, the last five years have been an exercise in perseverance, bookended by movements at odds. We were told to lean in, to throw ourselves into the C-suite, and butt our way into all-male spaces. But in the process, many of us faced abuse, humiliation, and harassment at the hands of the men whose ranks in the boardroom we were meant to be joining. From the outset of our careers, young women are expected to endure infantilization and exclusion all while advocating for better policies in the hopes that someday, things will change. If we've made little progress in shattering the glass ceiling or closing the wage gap, it certainly hasn't been for a lack of trying. "I'm tired of the motivation stuff," Carol Sankar, global leadership consultant and the founder of the global executive leadership firm The Confidence Factor for Women in Leadership, told The Week. "I think we've been sold by this idea that business and motivation go hand in hand. I'm motivated. Now tell me what I have to do." She gets at a huge problem in the movement to empower women in the workplace: The gatekeepers are still men, many of them white, and many unwilling to open the door to women, no matter how loud or persistent their knocking. "There just is no other way to say it," Sankar says. "Depending on what you're trying to achieve, you have to ask the person who sits in the seat you want." Our culture often fails to challenge white men's unwillingness to make room for women or to examine their own perpetuation of broken, corrupt systems. We can't even get them to mentor young women post-#MeToo because, they say, they feel uncomfortable. Meanwhile, women's desire to succeed is still seen as defiant, even met with hostility.
8-22-18 How America is anthropomorphizing pets and abandoning babies
While the elite get "fur-ternity" leave, poor mothers don't get adequate maternity leave. doubt in an attempt to alleviate all the serious hardships visited upon upper-middle-class pet owners, a marketing firm in Minnesota recently announced that it will grant employees who have purchased new animals the ability to work from home for a period of one week. "Fur-ternity leave," as the policy has been internally dubbed, is "kind of a no-brainer," a representative of the company told The New York Times. In the same article, it was reported that a "data company" (imagine that) in New York (ditto) is offering two full weeks of paid time off to anyone who adopts a dog or an "exotic pet," such as an iguana. In this country millions of women every year give birth to children whom they are forced to surrender to the daycare industrial complex after two unpaid weeks away from their vital mission of ensuring that customers know how to locate the Coupon Center. Poorly remunerated, crippled with debt, they are forced to plod on because without their collective labor, GDP would drop by a fraction of a fraction of a percent and the consumerist reign of the finance bros and the tech overlords and the hangers-on who "market" all of the former's non-achievements would be stalled. The conclusion is irresistible: Babies are worth less than some people's dogs. You don't need a conscience to find this state of affairs appalling. It is unacceptable on purely aesthetic grounds. If we're going to have an elite, they should at least use their ill-gotten gains to construct vast rococo palaces full of chinoiserie and paintings of naked shepherds and scheming cardinals. Our Netflix-dog park-tapas boboism is the least appealing decadence in the history of civilization. (Webmaster's comment: By law average paid maternity leave in Europe is 22 weeks and up to 68 weeks. Europeons VALUE their children.)
8-20-18 Serie A: Lazio hardcore fans call for women ban in some seats
Hardcore fans of Lazio football club in Italy have circulated a letter saying women should be banned from part of the Curva Nord of Rome's Olympic Stadium. The Lazio ultras have gained a reputation for violence, racism and anti-Semitism. Before the first game of the season, an unofficial flyer was handed round saying the stand was a "sacred place" where women were not allowed. But Lazio blamed "a few fans". "We are against any discrimination," it said. Lazio spokesman Arturo Diaconale, quoted by Italian media, said "we didn't know anything about this [flyer], it was an independent initiative by some of the Curva Nord fans". "It's not the position of society... There is a huge number of Lazio fans, whereas this is an initiative from a few fans. We cannot always intervene to prevent politically incorrect demonstrations like this one." The ultras' flyer said women should go to other parts of the stadium. The pamphlet called for "women, wives and girlfriends" to avoid the first 10 rows of the stand. "Those who choose the stadium as an alternative to the carefree and romantic day at the Villa Borghese [a Roman historic house and park], should go to other parts," it read.
8-15-18 Inside Siberia’s isolated community of forgotten women
In the remote village of Yar-Sale, in Northern Siberia, lives a group of elderly women. Once part of a nomadic community of reindeer herders, in their old age they spend most of their days in seclusion, isolated from the world they loved. While the men are encouraged to remain within the migrating community and maintain their social roles, the women are often ostracised and left to face the struggles of old age alone. Photographer Oded Wagenstein took the long journey to meet these 'forgotten' women. "It took a flight, a sixty-hour train ride from Moscow, and a seven-hour bone-breaking drive across a frozen river to meet them," says Oded. "I was surprised by the warmth with which they welcomed me to their homes and for days - over many cups of tea - we sat together as they shared their stories, lullabies, and longings with me: distant memories of white landscapes and reindeer herds, longings for their gone parents and partners, along with great frustration over the feeling of being 'purposeless'."
8-10-18 Women kept from med school
Tokyo Medical University admitted this week it had been systematically falsifying results of women’s entrance exams for nearly a decade, docking points and barring many from admittance. Unnamed sources told the Yomiuri Shimbun that officials didn’t want to waste a medical education on women who would just get pregnant and quit the profession. In 2010, the incoming class was 40 percent women; this year it was 18 percent, even though women made up 39 percent of total applicants. “We betrayed the public trust,” said university managing director Tetsuo Yukioka. “We want to sincerely apologize.” Campaigners are now demanding to know whether other universities also rigged results against women.
8-10-18 Food: PepsiCo’s CEO to Exit
PepsiCo’s Indra Nooyi will leave the company this fall after 12 years at the helm, said Jennifer Calfas in Money.com. As “one of few women of color to head a major company,” she presides over a corporation with $63.5 billion in revenue, the biggest food-and-beverage company in the Fortune 500. Nooyi’s departure this October will leave just 23 female CEOs at S&P 500 companies, that’s down from 32 in 2017, a decline of more than 25 percent. Women also make up only about a fifth of board members at the big companies that compose the S&P 500 index.
8-10-18 Why soccer is riskier for women
Doctors have long worried that people who play soccer harm their brains when they head the ball—and a new study suggests female players may be disproportionately at risk. Using an advanced form of MRI scanning, researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York examined the brains of 49 men and 49 women who regularly played soccer in an amateur league. Both sets of players had headed the ball roughly the same number of times over the preceding season—but the scans showed that the women had five times more brain tissue damage than the men, with affected matter in eight regions of the brain rather than just three. Researchers speculated that because women have smaller, less muscular necks than men, heading may impart more rotational force to their heads. None of the subjects showed any signs of brain dysfunction, reports The Boston Globe. But lead author Michael Lipton says further research is needed to “get a better handle on how many headers will get players into trouble.”
8-9-18 The unpleasant reason men navigate better than women
Men are better at navigating than women, according to a massive study, but there's not much for men to be proud about. Scientists at University College London say the difference has more to do with discrimination and unequal opportunities than any innate ability. The findings come from research into a test for dementia. But it has also given an unprecedented insight into people's navigational ability all around the world. The experiment is actually a computer game, Sea Hero Quest, that has had more than four million players. It's a nautical adventure to save an old sailor's lost memories and with a touch of a smartphone screen, you chart a course round desert islands and icy oceans. The game anonymously records the player's sense of direction and navigational ability. One clear picture, published in the journal Current Biology, was that men were better at navigating than women. But why? Prof Hugo Spiers thinks he has found the answer by looking at data from the World Economic Forum's Gender Gap Index - which studies equality in areas from education to health and jobs to politics. He told the BBC: "We don't think the effects we see are innate. "So countries where there is high equality between men and women, the difference between men and women is very small on our spatial navigation test. "But when there's high inequality the difference between men and women is much bigger. And that suggests the culture people are living in has an effect on their cognitive abilities."
8-8-18 Why US mums are envious of Bulgarian ones
The US is the only industrialised nation with no paid leave for parents with a new child. (Webmaster's comment: )In the US it's pop the brat out and back to work! In Europe paid maternity and paid paternity leave can be up to a year!
8-8-18 US mid-term elections: Women break records for nominations
More women candidates than ever will contest US governorships and House seats in November's mid-term elections. After Tuesday's primaries across four states, there are now 11 female nominees for governor and at least 182 for the House of Representatives. The results were hailed as a continuing success story by activists for women in politics. There was also a key election for a House seat in Ohio, in which President Donald Trump claimed victory. But US media said the race was still too close to call, in a safe Republican seat held by them since 1983. The outcome could indicate whether Democrats have a chance to overturn the Republican majority in the House in November. After polling closed in the four states holding primaries on Tuesday - Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington - it became clear women had broken records for gubernatorial and House nominations. Victories for Gretchen Whitmer (Michigan) and Laura Kelly (Kansas) in Democratic primaries mean 11 women will contest governorships in November - one more than the previous 1994 record. At least 182 female major party nominees will run for the House, beating the record of 167 from 2016. Another three women are leading in close primary contests.
8-6-18 Women more likely to survive heart attacks if treated by female doctor
An analysis of more than 580,000 heart attacks found that women are slightly less likely to die from a heart attack if they are seen by a female doctor. An analysis of more than 580,000 heart attacks found that women are slightly less likely to die from a heart attack if a female doctor is in charge of their hospital treatment. “You have highly trained experts with life or death on the line, and yet the gender match between the physician and the patient seems to matter a great deal,” says Seth Carnahan, from Washington University in St Louis. Carnahan and his colleagues trawled through anonymous patient data from Florida hospitals from 1991 to 2010, recording factors such as age, race and medical history. Even after taking these factors into account, they found that female patients were slightly less likely to survive heart attacks than male patients. When patients were treated by male doctors, 12.6 per cent of men died compared with 13.3 per cent of women. The gender gap was much smaller but still present when female physicians took charge of treatment. In these cases, 11.8 per cent of men died, compared with 12 per cent of women. “Our work corroborates prior research showing that female doctors tend to produce better patient outcomes than male doctors,” says Carnahan. “The novel part of what we are doing is showing that the benefit of having a female doctor is particularly stark for a female patient.”
8-4-18 Denmark veil ban: First woman charged for wearing niqab
A woman has become the first person in Denmark to be charged with wearing a full-face veil in public, after a ban came into effect on Wednesday. The 28-year-old came to the police's attention when a scuffle broke out between her and another woman at the top of an escalator at a shopping centre north of Copenhagen. She was fined when she refused to remove the veil. The new law has provoked protests and criticism from human rights groups. It does not mention burkas and niqabs by name, but says "anyone who wears a garment that hides the face in public will be punished with a fine". An initial report into the altercation on Friday suggested that one woman was trying to remove the other's veil, but police said this was not clear. "During the fight her niqab came off, but by the time we arrived she had put it back on again," police spokesperson David Borchersen told the Ritzau news agency. Police reviewed CCTV footage to determine whether the second woman had intentionally pulled off the veil, and believed it was incidental to the fight. (Webmaster's comment: I'm afraid I must agree with this law. Hiding the face in public is used by criminals to escape identification while commiting a crime.)
8-3-18 Williams’ fight for equal pay
Michelle Williams is an unlikely champion for pay equity in Hollywood, said Amanda Fortini in Vanity Fair. The 37-year-old actress is normally “very, very private,” but she became the face of the gender pay gap last year after it was revealed that she earned less than $1,000 for nine days of reshooting scenes for a movie, while her male co-star, Mark Wahlberg, was paid $1.5 million. “You feel totally devalued,” she says, “but that also chimes in with pretty much every other experience you’ve had in your workplace, so you just learn to swallow it.” Williams’ career breakout came in the 2005 film, Brokeback Mountain; she and co-star Heath Ledger began a relationship and had a child. When Ledger died of a drug overdose, Williams and her 2-year-old daughter were hounded by paparazzi. “It was unmanageable to be stalked like that,” she says. “I’ll never forget going to the post office and seeing a sign hung on the wall for anyone with information about myself and my daughter to please call this number.” She has shunned publicity ever since. But with encouragement from fellow actress Jessica Chastain, Williams embraced the need to speak out about pay inequality. “A private humiliation became a public turning point.”
8-3-18 Most women in office
Nevada could become the first state to have more women than men serving in its state legislature, after a record number of female candidates advanced in state primaries. Nearly 40 percent of Nevada’s legislative seats are already held by women.
7-27-18 Women and men get research grants at equal rates — if women apply in the first place
Supporting women in getting big research money could help close the academic gap. Women face an uphill battle in biomedical science, on many fronts. There is bias in hiring and in how other scientists view their research. Fewer women are chosen to review scientific papers. Men still outnumber women at the ivory tower’s highest floors, and of course, women in science face harassment based on their gender. But once the top of the hill is in sight — once a female scientist gets a coveted major research grant — the playing field levels out, a new study shows. Women who get major grants stay funded and head their labs just as long as men. The hitch? Women must reach the top of the academic hill and apply for those grants in the first place. “We’ve known from the data that’s publicly available that women are getting approximately 50 percent or more of the biomedical Ph.D.s, but when the time comes to apply for grants, the number drops precipitously,” says Judith Greenberg, the deputy director of the National Institute of General Medical Science in Bethesda, Md. Less than one-third of first-time applicants for the big grants from the National Institutes of Health are women. In part, that number reflects the gender disparity in faculty positions in general. To get a big pot of money from the NIH, a scientist needs to have a position at an eligible institution, often a university. That’s not a trivial goal. For example, women received 53 percent of the Ph.D.s in biology in 2015. But in that same year women represented only 44 percent of assistant professors in biology, and only 35 percent of the full professorate.
7-17-18 Why chivalry remains attractive to some women despite being sexist
Women tend to find male chivalry attractive even though they see it as a threat to fairness, according to a new study. Existing inequality may explain why. Women tend to be attracted to male chivalry even though they see it as a threat to their gender equality, according to a new study. Men who pay for dinner and open doors for women are said to display “benevolent sexism”: the attitude that women should be protected and provided for. These chivalrous acts are superficially positive, but may entrench gender inequality by positioning women as weaker and less competent, says Pelin Gul at Iowa State University. Gul and her colleagues explored heterosexual women’s attitudes to benevolent sexism in a series of experiments involving more than 700 women aged 18 to 70 in the UK. In one experiment, the volunteers were told to imagine a potential partner called Mark. Half were given chivalrous descriptions, such as, “In case of a disaster or emergency situation, he thinks that women should be helped before men”. The other half were given gender neutral descriptions, such as, “In case of a disaster or emergency situation, he thinks that a person’s sex should not be a factor determining who is helped first”. The chivalrous version of Mark was rated as more attractive, even though most participants said he was probably more likely to undermine and patronise them.
7-15-18 How an army of suffragettes saved America from starvation
While legions of men toiled in World War I, 15,000 women set out to solve the food crisis. But that wasn't their only goal. In May 1918, 10 teenage girls sat in Amy C. Ransome's three-story brownstone near Meridian Hill Park in Washington, D.C., listening to her describe what their summer's work would be like. Ransome appeared younger than her 45 years; she loved being around young people, which might have kept her looking so fresh. Two of the girls in the room, Susan and Janet, were her daughters, and the others came from similarly upper-middle class families. All the girls technically should have been in school, but they'd been drawn to a cause larger than themselves. One of the them, Dorothy Gilbertson, had seen a little white sign, like those in many store windows across the city, with black block letters reading: "Recruits wanted, for the Women's Land Army of America. Chance to do your bit by working on a farm." The sign whispered to Dorothy, Don't you realize that the men are at war? How can America have farms without farmers? Remember America's promise to the allies of how she is going to feed the war. Dorothy had no experience working on a farm, but neither did Susan or Janet. In fact, none of these girls were farmers. Amy Ransome herself didn't come from a farming family. She had a Master's degree and had worked for the United States Geological Survey. Since marrying in 1899, she'd been a housewife. Now the young women were being asked to become farmhands, to live in an old sawmill, wear overalls, and do anything their purveying farm owner needed, from "corn shucking and silo making, to mending of the state road and assisting at the County Fair," as Ransome later wrote. This was the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Women's Land Army of America. With so many male farmers off to battle or engaged in new, better-paying jobs in the the war industry, the group sought to prove that women could do men's work. But Ransome and her female farmers had a larger goal in mind: winning women the right to vote.
7-14-18 How academics in STEM fields are combating sexual harassment
There's 'no evidence' that current policies at universities are helping the problem. Sexual harassment is rife in science, medicine, and engineering, and there's "no evidence" that all the harassment training and reporting pathways that universities have set up are making any difference. That's the conclusion of a 290-page, two-year-long study of sexual harassment of women in the sciences, published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, a non-profit created by Congress during Abraham Lincoln's presidency to answer science questions for the nation. "We need to move beyond legalistic policies and training focusing only on the most obvious acts of abuse," Lilia Cortina, a psychologist from the University of Michigan who worked on the study, said during a public talk announcing the report's release. "Those acts simply don't happen without a firm foundation of disrespect, derision, and devaluation of women. So what are we doing to take aim at that disrespect?" Cortina was part of a team of 21 experts — comprising college professors, industry scientists, a former Congresswoman, and an administrator at a professional society for geophysicists — who examined existing research and commissioned two new studies to help them evaluate how prevalent sexual harassment is during women's science careers and what to do about it. The results are sobering: At least one in five female science students experience harassment from faculty or staff at their universities, and more than 40 percent of female medical students do, one of the newly commissioned studies found. (Men may also be harassed, especially if they're seen as violating gender norms, but it happens more often to women.) Anti-harassment policies at universities are often designed to cover the school in court — but not to really solve the problem. And women might be held back in their fields as a result: Research suggests that workers who are sexually harassed perform more poorly in their jobs, while college women who are harassed get lower grades and report more health problems.
7-14-18 Saudi Arabia woman 'arrested for hugging' singer Majid al-Mohandis
A woman in Saudi Arabia has been arrested after running on stage to hug a male singer during a concert, according to reports. Majid al-Mohandis was performing at a festival in the western city of Taif when the woman darted on to the stage. Videos posted online showed her holding on to Mr Mohandis while security staff tried to pull her off him. Women in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to mix in public with men who are unrelated to them. Mr Mohandis, whose website says is "the prince of Arab singing", has not commented on the incident. The Iraqi-born singer, who also has Saudi citizenship, continued to perform after the incident. A public prosecutor will now consider harassment charges against the woman, police told Okaz, a leading Saudi newspaper, and Efe news agency. The country has strict morality laws regarding alcohol prohibition, modest clothing and gender segregation. Restrictions that had long been placed on women attending public events in the kingdom have been relaxed in the past year under a series of reforms by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
7-11-18 'I risked everything to dance in Iran'
The arrest in Iran of an Instagram star who posted videos of herself dancing underscores the Islamic republic's strict rules shunning so-called Western behaviour. Here, BBC World Service women's affairs reporter Feranak Amidi describes what happened to her when she danced in Iran. I grew up in Iran in the 1980s, in a period of difficult change for many in the country after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. These were the years when morality police were put on the streets, and when music, lipstick, nail polish and even colourful clothes were banned. It was the time of the 1980-88 Iraq-Iran war, food was rationed and blackouts were regular. But even during those dark days, I remember dancing with my friends to music on cassettes bought from illegal music "dealers". These dealers were our only window to the outside world. They provided us with the music of Iranian pop stars who had left the country after the revolution and had gone to Los Angeles. These "dealers" were responsible for introducing us to the songs of Michael Jackson and keeping us up-to-date with trends such as break-dancing and groups like Wham! At school we danced at every chance we got. Every time teachers were not around we sang and danced, even though we were aware of an unwritten rule that dancing was now banned. Dancing itself has not been defined as a crime in Iran's penal code but the law is pretty vague. Based on Iran's constitution, committing an "indecent" act in public is a crime, so dancing in public can be interpreted as an indecent act and punished. Dancing can be performed on stage in Iran, although only by men. Using social media platforms to "spread and encourage indecency" is also a crime in Iran's penal code. In the absence of clubs and bars, parties in Iran have been the one place where people can dance and freely socialise - though such parties are technically breaking the law. These "underground" parties started immediately after the revolution and no force has ever been able to stop them. Many are family parties or weddings, but they are happening more and more in different cities so that young people can get together to drink, listen to music and dance.
7-9-18 Iran women dance in support of arrested Instagram teen
Women in Iran have posted videos of themselves dancing online, in support of a teenager who was arrested. Maedeh Hojabri had gathered thousands of followers on Instagram with videos of herself dancing to Iranian and Western pop music. On Friday, state TV broadcast Ms Hojabri's apparent confession. Social media users shared videos and messages supporting the young dancer, using hashtags such as one that translates as #dancing_isn't_a_crime. The Iranian government has strict rules governing women's clothing and dancing with members of the opposite sex in public is banned, except in front of immediate family members. Ms Hojabri's videos showed her dancing at home without the mandatory headscarf, or hijab. Several other dancers have reportedly also been arrested in recent weeks. Blogger Hossein Ronaghi commented: "If you tell people anywhere in the world that 17 and 18-year-old girls are arrested for their dance, happiness and beauty on charges of spreading indecency, while child rapists and others are free, they will laugh! Because for them, it's unbelievable!"
7-9-18 Tattoo taboo: Spanish woman fights rejection by army
When Estela Martín got a black lotus flower tattooed on the upper part of her right foot at the age of 18, her parents were unhappy about it, but she saw it as a positive symbol. "I've always liked the idea that the lotus represents, which is that you have to fight for what you want," she says. But 12 years later, that same tattoo has left her fighting to save her ambition of a career in the Spanish military. In June, Ms Martín took part in a civil service exam to become a military psychologist. She had left her previous job, in a Madrid hospital, two years earlier in order to study and prepare herself for the highly competitive selection process. But when she was taking part in a swimming test that was part of the exam, an examiner saw the tattoo on her foot and told her she could not continue because it could be visible when worn with a skirt. Ms Martín understood that the rules no longer obliged women to wear skirts and, given that that the tattoo was not visible when she wore trousers, she argued that it was within the regulations. However, she says the examiner insisted that she could be ordered to wear a skirt and refused to change his mind. "I felt terrible, at first I couldn't believe it," she says. "The reasons he was giving me seemed so absurd. I left utterly distraught, I was crying." Ms Martín says there were several men taking the same swimming exam who had body art, including one who had a tattoo on his heel, but none of them were pulled out of the process. Another woman was withdrawn from the examination for having a tattoo that she had partly removed with laser treatment. "There were two things that bothered me," says Ms Martín. "Firstly, there was the personal issue - it was two years of my life all for nothing, so much work and sacrifice. And then, above all, why should men be able to have the same tattoo and it's no problem for them?"