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Archive for July, 2009

Woman wearing trousers = 40 lashes in Sudan?

July 31, 2009 Leave a comment

A Sudanese woman, who works for the United Nations, is facing 40 lashes for wearing trousers in public. She is planning on going to court over this and has invited public media to help fight her fight.

This is what went down:

Ms. Hussein said she was at a restaurant on July 3 when police came in and ordered 13 women wearing trousers to follow them to the police station.

Ten of the women were summoned to a police station two days later and were lashed 10 times each, according to Ms. Hussein. Her case was sent for trial when she called in a lawyer.

She says that women are always being lashed for different things, but that no one is standing up to this. She is planning on exposing this for what it is – a harassment towards women. She is even going as far as to resign from the UN to make sure her case is continued. Others are coming out and supporting her, and her lawyer mentions that it will most likely be followed by human rights groups.

My wish is that lashing wasn’t even a punishment anymore. It is so inhumane. Secondly, I wish that women’s clothing choices weren’t such an issue in many places in the world. I know it can be seen in different ways, but I see it as taking away from the individual when they are so confined to wear certain things and then get a physical punishment when they step out and wear something different. It is totally unacceptable on a human rights level, despite the conservative and religious culture.

Horrible news of the day

July 30, 2009 Leave a comment

art.darleyne.haynes.wcvb

A 23-year old woman, who was 8 months pregnant was found dead in her apartment today. Her fetus was cut out of her body and has not been found.

There isn’t much more to this story yet, but how awful is this? It’s disgusting. Absolutely disgusting.

PETA has done it again

July 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Ugh. Since I’m a vegetarian, I’m cool with animal rights. I do think they should be treated in humane ways and I wish people wouldn’t eat them sooo much (however, I respect everyone’s choices and as long as you’re cool with me being a veggie, I’m cool with you eating meat – it doesn’t really matter to me), but PETA sucks. PETA is of course supposed to encourage all to treat animals right and become vegetarians. However, they do it by compromising the female sex.

They have a new campaign, called “Breasts, Not Animal Tests“. I get it. Getting your breasts tested for cancer, and doing self-examinations are very important, but it’s the way that PETA goes about it that sucks. They have set up a game where cards flips to either animals or two oranges/whatever looks similar to two breasts, or a torso with Barbie-like proportions in a bikini top. They are very large breasts, by the way. And the point of this game is that you have to click on as many breasts as you can, and avoid all the animals and other breast look-a-likes. Of course you gain points and then you can enter your score in their high score keeper. How fun! Right?

This kind of thing just reminds us all about how sexist PETA is. They’re probably thinking that they are trying to spread the good word about getting breast exams and whatnot, but they just have to always demean and diminish women in all their efforts.

So, if you aren’t anti-PETA yet, please consider it now! It’s never to late!

Categories: breasts, sexism Tags: , ,

BMI lies

July 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Sorry for the lack of posts! I was away with friends for the weekend in Toronto. Quite lovely!

Anyway, I found this (old) post from the Shapely Prose and I love how it demonstrates that the BMI calculator is pretty much bullshit. LOVE IT. They have put together a lovely little slideshow for us to see who is categorized as “underweight”, “normal”, “overweight”, “obese” and “morbidly obese”. Honestly, I can’t believe some of the results…it’s totally ridiculous! Check out this post now!

Categories: general Tags: , ,

Teen pregnancy an “epidemic” in foster care

July 23, 2009 Leave a comment

I read an interesting article from Time yesterday about teen pregnancy in foster care. It’s never anything that I’ve really thought about (despite me volunteering with foster kids every week), and the article is quite enlightening about this topic. It’s definitely a recommended reading!

To start off with a stat: Nearly 50% of girls in foster care have been pregnant at least once before they are 19. My reaction was a big, fat wow. There is clearly something wrong here! Luckily, the article goes into why this is obviously neglected.

Yet very few advocates and policymakers have focused on the issue of pregnancy among foster youth. “Most people in the teen-pregnancy field don’t really pay much attention to teens in foster care,” explains the National Campaign’s senior policy director, Andrea Kane. “And most people working in the child-welfare system are so busy trying to place kids in homes that they don’t focus much on pregnancy prevention.”

The article also says that girls in foster care are more likely to have sex at a younger age, be forced to have sex and less likely to use contraception. Well, these issues just open another can of worms which can be connected with education, the instability of foster care (and sometimes the bad conditions of foster care), peer groups, etc.

Of course within the realm of education, comes sex education. The article brings up this issue as a big one. Social workers aren’t talking to the kids about sex education, and the foster parents are definitely not bringing it up. I mean, it’s true. Parents of even their even biological children don’t want to talk about sex. It’s just one of those things that gets “passed off” to someone else, which usually ends up being peer groups, and we all know that peer groups aren’t the best place to learn what you need to learn about sex.

Fortunately, something is being done about this.

Planned Parenthood is recruiting and training thousands of peer educators — many of them in foster care themselves — who can reach out to teens with medically accurate advice. The organization is also testing out an online chat service that enables teens to get answers from a health professional at any time, day or night. “Sometimes,” says Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, “we find teens are more comfortable asking a total stranger.”

This is a great solution, and I hope that it will work at least to some extent! Obviously nothing is going to happen overnight, but the more advocacy for these foster kids, the better.

Surgeon General nominee too FAT?

July 22, 2009 2 comments

Holy crap. Thank you Feministing for bringing up this story. Michael Karolchyk went on Fox News (of course) and said that Dr. Regina Benjamin, the nominee for Surgeon General is too fat to have that job. He actually says that she is obese. Disgusting and ridiculous. This is obviously fat discrimination, which we see all the time, but don’t really have a lot of discussion about. It’s even worse, of course, when it has to do with females, which is what we’re seeing here.

Here’s the video:

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New Delhi: Rape victim told to have baby

July 22, 2009 Leave a comment

The Feminist Majority brings us this story of a mentally-handicapped rape victim being ordered to have her baby, although the New Delhi Supreme Court says that she will not rear the child.

The lower court ordered that she terminate the pregnancy, by stating: “We have no hesitation in observing that she is extremely vulnerable to all types of deceptive, dishonest and immoral offers even at the hands of those whom the law bestowed with the duty of looking after her.”

For me, any Indian news regarding women’s issues/gender issues/feminist stuff is near and dear to my heart, because I was there last year for about a month, doing some volunteer work. I know that doesn’t qualify me for much, but even being in India for that short period of time makes you understand how things work in that country. There is too much culture shock to not understand.

So, all I’m thinking about is how I’m actually not overly surprised that she is being ordered to have the baby. India is progressing, but it is moving slow towards that progression and is still a conservative country with much gender inequality.

I agree with the lower court’s decision, not just because of what they said about the victim (which is VERY true), but for the wellbeing of the newborn child. This child may be able to be taken care of by someone else, but I truly doubt that the child will have a chance at a good standard of living. Until you go to India and see things for yourself, you don’t understand the vast amount of street children, the vast amount of babies, children and adult beggars that are being exploited by the mafia (yes, Slumdog Millionaire was correct) and the vast amount of children in orphanages. India is obviously an overpopulated country that is bursting at the seams, and the Supreme Court’s ruling to me just doesn’t make sense. I can’t help but believe that they know this child will either end up in an orphanage (and honestly, not ALL are bad) or on the street, begging.

I just wish that the lower court’s decision was kept, because I truly believe that that was the right decision. I know many may disagree with me, but I just can’t see the pros to the Supreme Court’s decision.

Thoughts?

Categories: abortion, india, international, rape