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Tag Archives: Women Rights

The Criminalization of Women’s Bodies Is All About Conservative Male Power

Let’s start by acknowledging that women are not things. Before we talk, like we have to, about what the attacks on abortion access mean for this anxious, awful political era, let’s establish as a ground rule that women are not vessels, or incubators, or an undifferentiated natural resource. Women are human beings whose human rights matter.

This week, 25 white men in Alabama decided otherwise. In a sadistic nationwide legislative binge against women’s basic reproductive rights. Draconian new anti-abortion measures have also won wide margins of approval in Georgia, Ohio, and Missouri. This has been coming for a long time. It’s all part of a strategic  frontal assault on women’s right to choose, a deliberate ploy to overturn  the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling upholding abortion access as a constitutional right in the United States. These laws are not about whether a fetus is a person. They are about enshrining maximalist control over the sexual autonomy of women as a foundational principle of conservative rule. They are about owning women. They are about women as things.

https://newrepublic.com/article/153942/criminalization-womens-bodies-conservative-male-power

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Posted by on May 24, 2019 in North America, Uncategorized

 

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Alabama’s Abortion Ban Is Tyranny of the Minority

The government of Alabama just decided that providing an abortion to a 12-year-old girl who was raped by her father is a more serious crime than raping a 12-year-old girl.

On Wednesday, Governor Kay Ivey enacted the most restrictive abortion ban in the United States. Under its provisions, performing an abortion on someone who has been pregnant for more than six weeks is a Class A felony, carrying a minimum sentence of ten years in prison, no matter how said person became pregnant. Statutory rape and incest, meanwhile, remain Class C felonies — carrying a minimum prison sentence of just over one year.

Although some putatively “moderate” Republicans like Marco Rubio believe that the state should coerce victims of rape and incest into incubating their abusers’ fetuses, the vast majority of Americans do not. A 2018 Gallup poll found that 77 percent of voters felt abortion should be legal in such circumstances during the first trimester of pregnancy (while 52 percent said it should remains so in the last three months of a pregnancy). Even Pat Robertson — the Christian-fundamentalist televangelist who blamed “the gays” for 9/11 — said this week that Alabama’s abortion ban had “gone too far.

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/05/alabama-abortion-ban-heartbeat-law-rape-incest-polls-republicans.html

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2019 in North America, Uncategorized

 

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Some Of Us Are Born This Way: Female Athletes and Testosterone Limits

On Wednesday, May 1, 2019, Caster Semenya, the two time-Olympic champion and professional athlete who has competed in track and field since she was a child, lost an important battle in the fight around gender and sports. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) ruled that Semenya would have to take hormones that would lower her naturally occurring testosterone levels in order to “ensure fair competition in women’s sports.” If Semenya declines the suppressants she cannot compete in the 800-meter races at the Olympics, as well as other international competitions. The ruling concluded that “discrimination is necessary, reasonable and a proportionate means of achieving the IAAF requirement to preserve the integrity of female athletics.”

https://www.thecut.com/2019/05/the-hypocritical-policing-of-caster-semenyas-body.html

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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Caster treated like Saartjie Baartman

Last week’s decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to uphold the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) ruling for female athletes with high testosterone to take hormone-suppressing drugs before competing puts a temporary end to Caster Semenya’s 10-year battle to be respected as a woman.

Ever since Semenya burst on to the global sporting scene as an 18-year-old when she won the 800m competition at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, she has been within the crosshairs of the white gaze. In the past decade, Semenya, who has hyperandrogenism, has faced public ridicule, discriminatory sex tests, sneers from competitors and sports commentators, leaks of medical information and invasion from a hostile media.

https://mg.co.za/article/2019-05-08-00-caster-treated-like-saartjie-baartman

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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“I am a woman and I am fast”: what Caster Semenya’s story says about gender and race in sports

“I am Mokgadi Caster Semenya. I am a woman and I am fast.”

So said the reigning Olympic champion in the women’s 800-meter last year, in a statement challenging rules that could threaten her athletic career.

The rules, issued by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), require some female runners whose bodies produce high levels of testosterone to take medication to lower those levels. Many saw the rules as a direct effort to target Semenya, who is believed to have a condition that produces high testosterone. The runner appealed the new regulations, but on Wednesday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled against her.

Semenya’s story is about the ongoing efforts by sports governing bodies to develop gender divisions that are fair to all athletes. But it’s also about what happens when an athlete — especially a black athlete — doesn’t conform to other people’s ideas about womanhood.

https://www.vox.com/identities/2019/5/3/18526723/caster-semenya-800-gender-race-intersex-athletes

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2019 in Reportages, Uncategorized

 

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The Guardian view on abortion: protecting a human right

No law can end abortions, however severe its restrictions and however harsh its penalties. Each day almost 70,000 unsafe abortions are carried out around the world, and they are vastly more likely to happen in countries with strict laws. What such legislation does do is force some women to continue pregnancies against their wishes, while risking the lives and wellbeing of others. Women in the US have seen their ability to terminate pregnancies dismantled piece by piece. Now states are racing to outlaw or dramatically curb abortions with extreme and unconstitutional bills. The aim is to directly challenge Roe v Wade, the US supreme court ruling that established that abortion is legal before the foetus is viable outside the womb, at around 24 weeks. Last Tuesday, the governor of Georgia signed a bill essentially banning abortions after six weeks from 2020. Some described it as a sign that men who wish to control women’s bodies have no idea of how they actually work. More likely, those who pushed hardest for the change understand all too well that many women will not know they are pregnant until it is too late.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/12/the-guardian-view-on-abortion-protecting-a-human-right

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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Why is the left blinkered to claims about Assange and sexual assault?

In case you’ve forgotten, or have been confused by politicians who failed to mention it, let me remind you why I believe Julian Assange was in the Ecuadorian embassy for seven years before he was ejected and arrested last week. I don’t believe it was for being a journalist or a truth-teller to power, and it wasn’t for releasing evidence of America’s war crimes. He was in the embassy because, in 2010, Sweden issued an international arrest warrant so that he might answer allegations of sexual assault and rape. Assange would not accept extradition, jumped bail in the UK and absconded.

So it was curious to hear Diane Abbott, when answering questions about Labour’s enthusiastic objection to Assange’s possible extradition to the US to face charges of involvement in a computer-hacking conspiracy, say those sexual assault charges were “never brought”. The allegations were made, she generously conceded, but the charges were never brought.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/15/left-blinkered-claims-julian-assange-sexual-assault

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2019 in Europe

 

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India’s Great Wall of Equality

Last year was a watershed for gender relations. The #MeToo movement rocked establishments around the world, forcing even powerful men to face public scrutiny for their behavior toward women. But, despite a patriarchal backlash, the movement shows no signs of abating: on January 1, in the Indian state of Kerala, an estimated five million women formed a human chain – or “women’s wall” – stretching nearly 400 miles across the length of the state, to demonstrate their commitment to the fight for gender equality.

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/india-kerala-gender-equality-women-s-wall-by-jayati-ghosh-2019-01

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2019 in Asia

 

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Popular Feminism: Gendered Mass Violence

MAYBE YOU’VE SEEN this somewhere: “Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” The quote is attributed to the acclaimed author Margaret Atwood, and in the contemporary context of popular feminism, it is viral wallpaper. It makes an appearance in the second season of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. One finds it on Pinterest and Tumblr pages, on Instagram, in Twitter hashtags. Popular feminism has its fair share of memes, motivational phrases, and humorous quips, but some seem to have more resonance than others.

It is likely the second part of Atwood’s quote that explains its high visibility, because it throws a light on the fact that women are disproportionately victims of domestic violence, rape, and sexual assault. I think, however, we need to pay attention to the link between the two statements: all too often, men kill women for laughing at them.

https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/popular-feminism-gendered-mass-violence/

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2018 in North America, Reportages

 

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The Consent of the (Un)governed

Something has snapped. In early autumn, women and men finally began to come forward to speak, in numbers too big to dismiss, about sexual harassment and abuse. It started in Hollywood. It spread, under the #metoo hashtag — first coined 10 years ago by Tarana Burke — across industries, across oceans, to the very heart of politics. Powerful men are losing their jobs. We’re having consent conversations at the highest levels, with varying degrees of retrospective panic.

Something broke, is breaking still. Not like a glass breaks or like a heart breaks, but like the shell of an egg breaks — inexorably, and from the inside. Something wet and angry is fighting its way out of the dark, and it has claws.

A great many abusers and their allies have begged us to step back and examine the context in which they may or may not have sexually intimidated or physically threatened or forcibly penetrated one or several female irrelevances who have suddenly decided to tell the world their experiences as if they mattered.

https://longreads.com/2017/12/05/the-consent-of-the-ungoverned/?utm_source=Weekly+Longreads+Email&utm_campaign=75a3f46b87-Longreads_Top_5_December_8_2017&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_bd2ad42066-75a3f46b87-238658565&mc_cid=75a3f46b87&mc_eid=0686d31577

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2018 in Reportages

 

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