Emma Watson starts feminist book group on Twitter

20 days ago

Actor pledges to ask stars including Taylor Swift and JK Rowling to join platform for reading deliberation, to be named Our Shared Shelf

Harry Potter actor, UN ambassador and feminism campaigner Emma Waston has announced she is starting a feminist volume group on Twitter, called Our Shared Shelf. Watson, who is a goodwill ambassador for UN Women and figurehead of the gender equality campaign HeforShe, tweeted yesterday that she wanted to start the book club, with her request for indicated names for the group sparking a flurry of responses.

Emma Watson (@ EmWatson) January 6, 2016

Hi Team, I want to start a feminist book club but so far have only brainstormed ‘Feminist Book Club’ and ‘Emma Watson Book Club’.

After suggestions including Wats Up Fems, Watson Your Shelf and Hermiones Army, Watson announced today that she absolutely loved Twitter user @ emilyfabbs suggestion: Our Shared Shelf and portended further information about the book club was still to come.

Emma Watson (@ EmWatson) January 7, 2016

Thank you to everyone who came up with ideas and suggestions. That was VERY cool of you all. More info coming soon … Xxx

Twitters response has been enthusiastic: alongside punters, retired American footballer Abby Wambach, performer Sophia Bush and singer Kate Voegele have all tweeted they would take part in the club, with Watson agreeing to ask Harry Potter author JK Rowling and singer Taylor Swift to join in.

The first volume may have been chosen: when Wambach asked for nominations, Watson elected American feminist Gloria Steinems latest memoir, My Life on the Road, a collection of the authors reflections on her life and activism that the Guardian called illuminating.

Emma Watson (@ EmWatson) January 7, 2016

@AbbyWambach @katevoegele @SophiaBush @GloriaSteinem only released a new memoir? Thought it seemed like a good place 2begin? #MyLifeOnTheRoad

Watson made headlines when she launched the UNs HeForShe campaign in 2014, asking men to help women tackle sexism and for increased awareness of the negative impact masculine stereotypes had on men. Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong, she said, in her speech to UN delegates.

Watson is not alone in her aspirations to start an online celebrity volume club: actor Gwyneth Paltrow operates a cookbook club on her lifestyle website Goop, while fellow actor Reese Witherspoon who has a history of producing film adaptations of her favourite books, including Gillian Flynns novel Gone Girl and Cheryl Strayeds memoir Wild runs a volume club on Instagram, on the hashtag #RWBookclub.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced his biweekly volume club in January last year, focusing on books that have an emphasis on learning about different cultures, faiths, histories and technologies. Zuckerbergs first choice, The Objective of Power by Moises Naim, rocketed up the Amazon bestsellers list, outstripping 18 months of marketings in days after the announcement.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Marielle Franco had to resist- no wonder she didn’t survive

24 days ago

The Brazilian political activist a black, lesbian single mom was a fearless fighter in different countries mired in racism and inequality. Her slaying should reverberate around the world

‘Being a black woman is to defy and survive all the time .” So said Marielle Franco, the Rio de Janeiro city councillor shot dead in a targeted assassination last week, merely 18 months after she was elected. Franco was 38 years old. She was a black, gay, single mom from the Mare favela who stood up for poor person, LGBT people, black people and women. When her auto was hit by nine bullets- four of which entered her skull, killing her instantly- she was on her style home from an event titled Young Black Women Who Are Changing Power Structures. This is what can and does befall such extraordinary women.

And Franco was extraordinary. She was a fearless, charismatic and popular politician with integrity, operating in a country, characterised by chairperson Michel Temer‘s all-male, almost exclusively white cabinet, in which more than half the population is black, mixed race or female. No wonder she had to resist all the time. No wonder she did not survive.

The world is at once shrinking and becoming more frightening, and the reverberations of such hateful and emblematic acts travel far and fast. So, too, does the response: tens of thousands turned out across Brazil to protest about the murder of Franco. Hundreds of thousands have pledged their refusal to forget in more than 30 speeches utilizing the hashtag #MarielleFrancoPresente. Franco was apparently the subject of more tweets( 3.6 m in 42 hours) than Dilma Rousseff, after the ex-Brazilian president’s impeachment.

However, we are not able to shake our heads in barely concealed relief at the track records of “other” countries on human rights, political crisis, economic recession or even murder. Such atrocities happen here too: think of Jo Cox. And, wherever it happens, it is always as much about the hatred of women as it is about political ideology. It appears that Franco, like Cox, are women murdered for her notion.( In Franco’s case, you can also add race and sexuality to the list .) Now it feels as though all the threads are coming together: #MeToo, Time’s Up, the gender pay gap, structural racism, absence of diversity, and on and on it coils. Underpinning the vast and nebulous tangle is gross and endemic inequality. And, at the extreme objective, the outcome is the demolition of a harbinger of hope like Marielle Franco.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

The Republican boss: for female lawyers, it’s the worst possible option

24 days ago

Female lawyers at conservative-led firms feel routinely discriminated against, hears Jill Filipovic, and a new examine says their experience may not be so rare

Alexis, a 31 -year-old attorney at a mid-sized politically conservative statute firm in Detroit, was working on two bargains when a male partner she hadnt met before called her up and asked if she was getting weepy.

I want to make sure you arent running into Elises office weeping each morning, Alexis said he told her. Is everything ok?

Alexis was stunned, and confounded. She and Elise, another female associate( both names are pseudonyms ), werent close nor were they working on the same examples; there was no indication that anything was wrong with either employee. Theyd been working hard, long hours just like all lawyers at their firm.

It was this presumption that Im not managing it, and that my reaction would be to go exclaim to the other girl up the hallway, Alexis said. Which I have never heard anyone ask a male associate.

Thats merely one example, Alexis said, of how she feels routinely condescended to, undercut, and devalued in the office, especially by her Republican-leaning male superiors. If you have half a brain as a young female associate, you look around and you know there is no route for success, Alexis said. Of 50 -something partners in her department, simply three are female.

According to a new study, Alexiss experience may not be an outlier: female lawyers, the study received, are promoted less often, are less likely to be selected to work on certain client teams, and are more likely to leave their law firms when their male superiors are politically conservative and donate to Republicans. Women who work under politically liberal, Democrat-donating bosses dont insure the same penalties.

Conservative bosses, females report anecdotally, are indeed harder to work with, and conservative workplaces less favorable to female lawyers professional development. Most of the challenges dont come in the form of obvious, outright discrimination theres little of the Mad-Men-style ass-grabbing or blatant disparate therapy but rather, male associates are devote subtle advantages in mentorship, professional opportunities, informal communications, and even compensation.

At Alexiss firm, the young male associates and the young male partners are on informal email chains and group text, staying in constant communications with one another. The more experienced male partners are able to offer the newer lawyers important tips-off and bits of knowledge about long-time clients, something female associates, who arent parties from the group communications, dont get.

These long-standing relationships yield a lot of institutional knowledge, Alexis said. If you arent privy to this back-channeling datum, you constantly step on land mines, and theres no way you could have known unless someone helped you out and told you. Decades of institutional knowledge theres not enough attempt in the world that can help you overcome that.

The politics of gender

Seth Carnahan, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor who conducted the survey with Brad Greenwood, an assistant professor at Temple University, emphasized that the findings are just a correlation , not a causation. The fact that conservative humen in charge meant fewer women promoted and retained could be caused by the boss or by the employees, Carnahan said.

We cannot rule out the idea that women who are more interested in getting ahead in their careers are selecting jobs where theyre working with more liberal male partners, he said. Still, the weight of their studies on inequality in the workplace suggests that its administrators , not subordinates, who have a strongest hand in pulling females up the career ladder or pushing them down the rungs.

On the partner side, its possible that a partners political ideology might be influencing the culture they create in the organization and also the style they think about the promotion of female associates, Carnahan said. Theres a lot of work in political science that indicates a conservative political ideology is associated with comparatively traditional views about gender roles.

Indeed, according to the General Social Survey, which examines American attitudes and beliefs about a slew of issues, conservative men are significantly more likely than their liberal counterparts to say that the best household set-up is one in which girls stay home with the children and men are the primary breadwinners. If youre a woman working for a boss with that view, its perhaps not surprising that you wouldnt be mentored, or that your career wouldnt be treated as severely as the guys down the foyer.

Its possible that because conservatives have these traditional beliefs about gender roles in the family, they might think that their female associates are more likely to quit and create children, so theyre less likely to invest in them, Carnahan said.

Thats exactly what Claire( a pseudonym ), a 33 -year-old attorney at a mid-sized firm in Manhattan run by a prominent Republican donor, sees in her office.

I feel like Republican humen slot women around two places: They should be at home as spouses taking care of the family, or theyre sex objects, she said , noting that attractive young female associates are treated well at her firm in terms of being invited to client events and sitting in on sessions. But, she said, thats not the same as treating them like employees with a future at the firm.

Attractive women are viewed as people[ the male partners] want around for social events and client events, but they arent viewed as a long-term investment in terms of how do we train them, how do we keep them here. Ive heard remarks about women who get pregnant one woman took six months of leave and there were commentaries about how anyone who takes that kind of leave isnt serious.

For men , not only are the investments in their careers different in conservative workplaces, but so too are the expectations around family and working. Men dont have to contend with the stereotype that theyre either single and therefore sexually available, or theyre mothers and therefore inadequate employees who should be at home with their children.

I used to work with a guy who would put up pictures of his daughter all over his doorway, he was so proud of her, Claire said. Another man who made partner, he was very open about, I have to make it to all of my daughters school things and parent-teacher conferences. He would leave, even if it was very inopportune for the team. If a human does that, hes viewed as being a really great daddy, and look at him determining that work-life balance. Whereas if a woman does it, she is immediately viewed as not serious , not dedicated to the job.

The imbalances arent so obvious, many female lawyers say, when they work for more liberal bosses, whether theyre male or female. In a previous chore under a politically progressive male boss, There was complete confidence in my work product, Alexis said. They started from a position of assuming that I was right and my work product was good. Whereas now its virtually reflexive to blame or tell me Im wrong.

In Claires office, liberal lawyers are a relative rarity, and they stay quiet about their political opinions. But she said it was striking to notice that the two male partners who have taken the greatest interest in my career and helping to develop me, and are not the partners who I inevitably did the most work for, are both liberal.

Examining biases

Promotion and retention of female lawyers are ongoing challenges in the legal field. Women have made up closely connected to half of law students since the early 1990 s, and about half of first and second-year associates entry-level lawyers at law firms are women. Still, two decades after girls achieved near-parity in statute schools, only 4 % of managing partners at the top 200 American law firms are women. Women make up simply 17% of equity partners at statute firms generally.

Linda( also a pseudonym) recently left the mid-sized midwestern boutique firm she worked at for nearly a decade after a conservative Evangelical Christian man took over as managing partner when a tough as fingernails Democrat-voting girl retired. The firm, which was once one third women, dropped to having simply one female associate and one female partner: Linda herself. The firm culture, which before had been collaborative and civil, shifted dramatically.

It became much more authoritarian, much more top-down, were gonna do it this route because I say so which also falls into that notion of dad being in charge, Linda said. I never watched my career route take as much of a nosedive as when this conservative man took over.

For law firms, one answer might be to encourage male partners and associates to check their own biases and stereotypes. Carnahan, the author of the study, said he hopes it will push men to guess, Is there something Im doing that Im not conscious of? Do I have a subconscious bias in terms of my hiring decisions, my educate, my promotion decisions?

He said that he hopes maybe seeing this kind of data could help people examine their own faiths and how that might be impacting their subordinates.

But if a man already believes that women are better off at home with the kids, its hard to imagine hell be persuaded to change by a survey indicating he may be the kind of boss who will stymie womens careers. And for women, there are no good solutions if your boss is treating you unfairly. Even going to HR about blatantly bad behavior, said Alexis, can backfire.

Once they get talked to by HR about a certain behavior or incident, what a lot of the partners end up doing is just stop talking to that female associate, she said. So she gets less run and it ends up hurting her.

To succeed at her firm, Claire said, women have to hide the parts of themselves that make them identifiably female, such as being a mom. The conservative opinion of women as either sex objects or moms, she said, necessitates females, if they want to attain partner at a firm like this, basically quote-unquote be one of the guys. That means you dont know they have children, and theyre always available.

What, I asked Claire, would she need to personally do to thrive as a woman in her conservative workplace? Forgo having children? Work twice as hard as the guys?

Its hard for me to answer that, she said after a long pause. Because I simply dont feel like I have a future here.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Feminism= fighting for equality for women. This comic break it down.

30 days ago

There’s no one right way to be a feminist.

In fact, feminist history is so rich because of the diversity in faith, practices, and ideologies. Thanks to famous feminists like Sojourner Truth, Audre Lorde, Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, and so many more, feminism has transcended race, class, and time to reach a number of women and impact new laws and ways of supposing.

Rebecca Cohen, a cartoonist are stationed in Berkeley, explains the importance of feminism as a catalyst for real change through a series of comics:

All images by Rebecca Cohen, used in conjunction with permission.

In the words of feminist writer and speaker Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a feminist is “a person who believes in the social, economic and political equality of the sexes.”

Of course, we still have a ways to go to get to a place where this definition is true. But as feminism continues evolving, I hope this is a definition men and women can get behind as we continue to fight for justice and true equality!

Read more: www.upworthy.com

Make ‘feminism’ the word of the year until females feel safe

1 month, 7 days ago

As the jaunt of abusive humen continues and the world assures the power of women behind this cultural moment, we have to continue the hard work

This week a man attempted a terrorist attack in New York’s Port Authority subway station, but his bomb explosion early and the attacker was the only one seriously injured. Despite what Twitter would have you believe, New York- as it does- went on very much the same. People groused about metro delays and went on with their day .~ ATAGEND It was just one of many days that induced me proud to be a native New Yorker. We could all take a lesson from that sort of resilience and posture, to be honest: we won’t let terrible people attain us feel terrible. We will live our lives, and refuse to be terrorized.

On a happier note, though the outing of abusive humen continues, the world is starting to recognize the power of women behind this incredible culture moment: Merriam-Webster named “feminism” the word of 2017. Now we just have to continue to make it the movement of the year( and next year, and the next) until girls can start to feel safe in their own country.

Glass half full

The unthinkable happened and Doug Jones won the Alabama special election. It’s a low bar- getting excited over an accused child-molester and explicit racist losing- but in a time when wins are few and far between, I’ll take it.

What I’m RTing

Melissa Silverstein (@ melsil)

Hollywood, you are seriously so fucked up about women. Seem at the outfits. pic.twitter.com/ 2gQiTHN5JY

December 8, 2017

Adam Serwer

Read more: www.theguardian.com

How to actually talk to a woman wearing headphones | Martha Mills

1 month, 10 days ago

Martha Mills: How to talk to a woman wearing headphones, without seeming like a terrifying harasser

An article has surfaced from the quagmire of bilge the hell is The Internet and it has caused , not without reason, a small tornado of outrage. Written as dating advice for The Modern Man( a misnomer if ever there were one ), it promises a solution to the hot n horny down-on-their-luck young bucks of the world who face the tedious obstacle of a woman wearing headphones, because how dare she. And no, it isnt a parody.

You can read it in its full entitled glory, or stick with me as I dissect each grubby, jaw-dropping hallucination of psychopathic awfulness. Its going to be quite a ride.

How to Talk to a Woman Who is Wearing Headphones

These days, many females walk around playing with a smartphone or tablet device and are often wearing headphones and listening to music at the same time.

Yet, that doesnt mean you cant talk to them.

Of course , not all women are open to being approached because not all women are single and looking.

However, if a woman wearing headphones is single and hoping to meet a boyfriend( or even a new devotee ), she will almost always be happy to take off her headphones to give you an opportunity to create a spark with her.

The author, one Dan Bacon, could have saved us all a lot of bother here by answering his How to with Dont. Sadly he seems to have missed some basic behavioural science here; you assure, the very reason I and many other women wear headphones isnt as a trivial obstacle to some throbbing hormone mountain , nor as a challenge for those blessed with an abundance of ego. Its a defense. A defence against the aural onslaught of modern lifeand especially the leering advances of said pulsating hormone mountains. In short, we wear them because we dont want to be talked to. Its basic physics actually – we fill our ear pits to stop you from get in.

But back to Dan 😛 TAGEND

What to Do to Get Her Attention

1. Stand in front of her( with 1 to 1.5 meters between you ).

2. Have a relaxed, easy-going smile.

3. Is she hasnt already looked up at you, simply get her attention with a wave of your hand. Wave your hand in her direct line of vision so she cant ignore it.

4. When she looks at you, smile and point to her headphones and say, Take off your headphones for a minute and pretend to be taking headphones off your head, so she fully understands.

If she doesnt understand( most women will ), simply gesture that you want to talk to her by briefly pointing backward and forward from you to her and say, I want to talk to you for a minute.

In most cases, you wont have to go to that extreme, but some daughters are shy and will be hesitant to take the headphones off right away because they are feeling a lot of nervousness and exhilaration about what is happening.

5. Then, do what we call Acknowledging the Awkwardness by rapidly mentioning something about the awkwardness of the moment( insure the conversation example below ), to demonstrate you understand that approaching a woman in this way isnt the most common of experiences for either party.

This helps set her at ease and know that you are a cool guy who she can relax and open up to.

I dont know if these five steps are a common thing, but I have personally experienced this several times. At step 1 I know what you are doing and Im dismissing you, hoping the ground will open up and take one of us to the depths of somewhere Hellish, which would be more pleasant than such a situation is developing to be. By step 3 Im not feeling aroused and Im not feeling flattered as Dan later tells his readers I will be – Im feeling harassed. Straight up, dictionary definition harassed.

By step 4 Ive learnt that you cant understand a basic body language brush-off and are therefore a direct threat to my personal safety. My brain is in oppose or flight, checking for escape roads, its trying to figure out just how aggressively youre going to react to any further action I take to extract myself from a situation altogether not of my own making and it is praying they use a flattering photo of me on the news , not that one when my front-facing camera went off accidentally that time.

According to step 5, the fact you have bullied me into one of the most awkward and scary moments of my life builds you a cool guy. Mr Bacon clearly has difficulty spelling. It begins with a t, Dan.

Heres Dans interpretation of how the conversation goes once a human has use his infallible five-point Jedi mind trick to bludgeon a woman from her blissful state of aural security:

You :[ Smile in a friendly, confident manner] Hey I know its not normal for people to talk to someone with headphones in, but I was strolling along and saw you and thought wow, shes a cutie, I have to say hi. Im Dan, whats your name? Woman :[ Usually flattered by the compliment and impressed by your confidence to approach her like that] Jessica. You :[ Add in some humor] Coolnice to meet you Jessica. I dont normally talk to daughters with headphones, but your big green headphones were just calling out to me. Woman :[ Most likely laughing, smiling and enjoying the interaction ]. You :[ Let her know that you have something to do/ somewhere to go, so she understands that youre not going to stand there talking to her for 30 minutes] Anyway, so Im just out doing a bit of shopping at the moment. Im on my route to a store up the street. Hows your day going so far?

In his scenario, Jessica has just been waiting her whole life to be blessed with the attention of a complete stranger who misstep hunched shoulders, darting eyes and rictus for giggling and smiling.

Heres how it plays out in real life. Trust me, Ive been it, insured it and spoken to the survivors:

Him : I see you dont want to be talked to but I find you physically attractive and Im constructing that your problem.

Her : Please leave me alone.

Him : F *** YOU, YOU STUCK UP B ****, I DIDNT FANCY YOU ANYWAY.

With advice like this out there, its hardly any surprise, is it? These lonely men so desperately in search of conquests have been given permission, blessed with the entitlement to go forth and pluck their bounty employing but five humble steps. So imagine their horror and indignation when that which has been promised doesnt want to be plucked and tells them to sling their greasy hook.

Next Dan listings the five mistakes men attain when approaching a woman who is wearing headphones. Sadly not one of them is to sod right off.

Points 1, 4 and 5 are fairly inoffensive, generic dating guff( be confident, be engaging, be flirty ), but oh boy, just try and get your noggin round points 2 and 3.

2. Allowing her to dismis him

Headphones are a great barrier between a person and the rest of the world.

That being said, if a guy wants to get a womans attention he needs to show confidence by being determined to get her to stop listening to the music and chat to him to him.

If a guy has a weak vibe or presence about him, a woman usually wont give in to his request for her to remove the headphones.

Women love to test guys to see how confident they truly are and a favorite test of women is to ignore a guys attempts to converse with her and find what he will do next. Will he walk away in shame, or will he remain calm and continue talking to her in a confident, easy-going manner?

This is her style of gauging his interest in her and also a way of determining whether he is mentally and emotionally strong enough for a girl like her.

If a guy devotes up at the first sign of resistance, most women will be to turn by his mental and emotional weakness as a man.

3. Allowing her to take control of the interaction

No matter how confident or challenging a woman might behave, she still dreams of fulfilling a guy who is more confident than her. A woman doesnt want to be forced to control an interaction with a guy( i.e. call the shots, boss him around ), but she will if she has to.

Controlling an interaction with a woman is not about bossing her around, being arrogant or being too assertive. Instead, you simply need to assume the role of the man and let her be the woman. In other terms, build her feel girly around you because you think, behave and feel( your vibe) so masculine.

The advice here is basically No doesnt mean no, it entails keep going until you get what you want – the screaming will stop eventually. Because apparently thats what women want – and forms the basis for a million rape defence lawsuits. Trust me, when we tell you to go away we arent testing your measure as a human, were testing how quickly your legs can carry you in an offward direction.

Put Dans advice into any other scenario for the true jaw-drop factor: Shopkeepers may lock their doors at night, but if you want a pint of milk, only hammer on the door until they open up. Theyll be flattered.

I appreciate the world of mating is hard but please, for the love of humanity, learn this: because we are want, doesnt mean you can have. Women are not commodities to be hunted and won, and if you have no luck find someone to bump pink bits with, thats your problem , not our flaw for not adhering to the playbook regulations. Its a playbook we never signed up for and its only a game if both teams actually know theyre playing.

Nowhere in his advice does Dan tell his disappointed man-babies how to handle rejection with grace, because the advice is simply not to accept it. This attitude is why I and countless other women have been been chased down the street, followed home, physically constrained, spat at, verbally abused and generally made to feel like garbage, merely for trying to exist.

So when, I hear the whiny pissbabies ask, when am I allowed to approach hot single women? Simple.

If a woman has her headphones in, the answer is never – and before you bleat on about ooh, what if theres a fire ?, shell reek it, even through all your bulls ** t. If youre in a bar or party, her flirtatious smile may be the come-on youre go looking for, but be prepared to accept that you read it wrong, politely wish her a good evening and toddle back up out of her life without 20 minutes of awkward pawing, insisting she let you buy her a rohypnoltini. But how about this; take up a hobby, ask your friends if they know of someone looking to date or( brace yourself for a whopper of a revelation) if youre looking for a horde of single, eligible girls all looking for friendship-maybe-more in one convenient place, try a dating site.

Anyway, coming soon from Dan Bacon, How To Talk To A Woman Through A Fog Of Pepper Spray. Probably.

Martha Mills is on Twitter as @mittendamour

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Incarcerated for calling Ugandan president a ‘pair of buttocks’, activist pledges to fight on | Alon Mwesigwa

1 month, 16 days ago

A Facebook post criticising Yoweri Museveni landed academic Stella Nyanzi in jail, but she vows to continue her fight against oppression and poverty in Uganda

A few minutes into our interview at one of Kampalas hotels, Stella Nyanzis lawyer tells us the place is no longer safe for her and she needs to leave. She is constantly monitored by security agents these days, she tells, which is perhaps not surprising as the academic and activist is one of the fiercest critics of the Ugandan government. But she is not about to back down.

Not even the 33 days she spent in the countrys maximum security Luzira womens prison for describing the president, Yoweri Museveni, as a pair of buttockscould change her stance.

My language will grow sharper if the governmental forces continues to oppress us, tells Nyanzi, who was suspended from her undertaking at Makerere University for abusing the first lady and education pastor, Janet Museveni. Nyanzi called her a big-thighed cow with an empty brain.

On top of that, she has accused the Musevenis of raping the country and leaving millions of Ugandans in poverty during their three-decade rule.

I am a critic of government and I prefer the words to use[ carefully ], she told the Guardian while out on bail.

If you are going to stand with the powerless against the oppression[ by] the powerful, someone will not like it. That person is usually the powerful.

Nyanzi, who usually turns to Facebook to ventilate her fury, was arrested in April and charged with cyber harassment for her criticism of the president. Her arrest followed an event for her campaign Pads4girlsUG, which is raising fund to buy sanitary towels for girls who cant afford them. She started it after the first lady told parliament earlier this year that the governmental forces did not have money to fulfil her husbands electoral campaign pledge to provide free sanitary pads to schoolgirls.

At least 30% of teenage girls in Uganda miss school when they start having their periods.

The campaign has proved a success, with donations pouring in. Nyanzi wrote on Facebook that Pads4girls was her most powerful achievement of the past year.

Her arrest elicited widespread condemnation, with Human Rights Watch describing it as the most flagrant attack on free expression in many years and a vengeful utilize of Ugandas justice system to stillness a government critic. She is currently barred from travelling out of the country.

A developed journalist turned researcher, Nyanzi describes herself as a lyricist, poetess, creative novelist and analyst on a quest for good governance. Shes unflinching in her criticism of government and is unafraid to tackle taboo around sexuality and gender and stand up for LGBT rights.

Language is a tool and I refuse to be shut by anybody; we are capable of listen to the rhetoric but also topic, says Nyanzi, whose PhD research at the University of London focused on youth sexualities and sexual and reproductive health in the Gambia, a culturally conservative country like many other African states.

Her candid use of sex innuendos and talk of sex has angered moralists but earned her the support of young people who view old belief as having no place in todays world.

Openly use terms like penis or vagina is seen as immoral. Nyanzi is violating those cultural faiths, in a country where women are expected to be humble.

She stripped down to her lingerie in protest when her boss at Makerere tried to evict her from the building. She told journalists then that stripping was the only remaining option for her grievances to be heard.

Stella
Stella Nyanzi at a school in Masaka, western Uganda, as part of her Pads4girls campaign. Photograph: Frederic Noy

She likes to be called nalongo ( a mother of twins which she is, along with an older daughter ), which locally symbolises strength.

She told people feign that sex is a taboo, but what do humen discuss all the time? It is sex. So do the women when they are together, she says.

I stand with queer people and I may not necessarily has become a lesbian but I know what it means to be marginalised because of my sexuality. It could be because I dont have sex, or it could be because I am a single mum, or because I just sleep around with so many humen, she adds.

Yet such bold statements have led to accusations that she has mental health problems. The nation tried to force-out her to be tested while in prison but she resisted. The country has furthermore asked the court to obligate her to be tested under the 1938 Mental Treatment Act. She filed a case against the governmental forces, opposing the testing.

They wanted to subject me to involuntary[ mental] testing; I told them I have to volunteer myself. They cant merely pick me and exam, she says. What happens after testing you is that they detain you on the pretext that you are mentally ill. That means they want to kill whatever questioning power I have.

Although her arrest and detention seem designed to break her, she tells the things they do to women in prison would not stop her.

Like telling us to undress before other[ captives ]; I giggled about it, she says.

Telling me to undress I undressed with pride and then turned the torment strategy into one of pleasure for other women.

She wrote last month that her prison experience strengthened my resolve to resist the Musevenis 31 -year dictatorship.

Oh yes,[ prison] purified my passionate abhorrence for the failed corrupt regime of[ Museveni] when I was a prisoner, my brain was sharpened for the long struggle ahead. In prison, I lost all fear of the systems and organs that uphold the gun-based system of patronage that entrench this reign of terror and family rule, she told.

But when she was released on bail she looked frail and there were concerns about her health. I had malaria. Mosquito nets are not allowed into the prison rooms because of fear that women can strangle themselves.

I got a urinary tract infection because the lavatories are bad. But also our pit latrine was full the first 2 week I was there. It took a uprising for it to be emptied, she says.

Nyanzi is due back in tribunal on Tuesday. There have been calls for the charges to be fallen. But whether they are or not, or whether shes returned to jail, it is unlikely the academic will ever willingly give up the fight.

As she wrote on Facebook to mark her 43 rd birthday last week: As I start another year of my life, I am looking forward to the prospects there are for me. I am grabbing this apple of my life, taking huge tasty bites out of it.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

12 Hillary Clinton Quotes That Prove You Shouldn’t Pause Your Dreams For Anyone

1 month, 25 days ago

Women have endured many combats in society in gaining equal rights.

From gettingthe right to vote to being able toenterthe workforce, these changes were only possible because of the dreamings females had for themselves and for the rest of us.

If it wasn’t for the dreamers, we girls would not be where we are today with our rights. Sure, we are still a work-in-progress toward full equality, but progress over the decades has been made.

Along with progression, history is being stimulated with Hillary Clinton in this year’s election. Asthe first female presidential nominee for a major party in United States history, she is giving girls everywhere the message theycan make a difference and generate change.

If she becomes president, she will not only has become a voice for women in politics, but an inspiration to women everywhere who have dreamings and aspirations for themselves.

Here are a few of Clinton’s wordswe should all keep in mind for ourselves when it comes to never quitting on what you want to achieve in life for anyone other than yourself.

1. “Barriers can come down.”

Yes, there are still ceilings to breakfor women and men, for all Americans. But don’t let anyone tell you that great things can’t happen in America. Barriers can come down. Justice and equality can win.


2. “When you’re knocked down, get right back up.”

Always aim high, work hard, and care deeply about what you believe in. And, when you stumble, keep religion. And, when you’re knocked down, get right back up and never listen to anyone who says you can’t or shouldn’t go on.


3. “The advancement … of women and girls … is the greatunfinished business of the 21 st century.”

As I have said and as I believe, the advancement of the full participation of women and girls in every aspect of their own communities is the great unfinished business of the 21 st century.


4. “Things … do work out.”

There is a sense that things, if you keep positive and optimistic about what can be done, do work out.


5. “How you answer … is in your control.”

I think that if you live long enough, you realize that so much of what happens in life is out of your control, but how you respond to it is in your control. That’s what I try to remember.


6. “We must go forward together or not at all.”

Every moment wasted looking back, maintains us from moving forward … In this world and the world of tomorrow, we must go forward together or not at all.


7. “Yes, you can be anything you want.”

To every little girl who dreams big: Yes, you can be anything you want — even president.


8. Be fearless.

Be as fearless as the women whose narratives you have applauded.


9. Seize your opportunities.

Part of the great challenge of living is defining yourself in your moment, of seizing the opportunities that you are given, and of inducing the very best choices you can.


10. “You have to be true to yourself.”

You have to be true to yourself. You have to be enough in touch with who you are and what you want, how you want to live and what’s important to you, to build your decisions based on that. Sometimes that’s very difficult.


11. You can learn something from just about everyone.

I always believed you could learn something from nearly everybody you fulfill, if you’re open to it.


12. “Fear is always with us, but we just don’t have period for it.”

We are, all of us, investigating a world that none of us even understands…searching for more immediate, ecstatic, and penetrating modes of living…

The struggle for an integrated life existing in an atmosphere of communal confidence and respect is one with desperately important political and social consequences…

Fear is always with us, but we just don’t have period for it. Not now.

Let Clinton’s terms be a reminder that no matter what you want to accomplish in life, make it happen for yourself. Never stop dreaming or believing that anything is possible as long as you put your intellect and entire heart into it.

Be inspired and go be that change in the world for all of us!


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‘Ugly girls don’t sell burgers’- the trickle-down effect of Team Trump

2 months, 6 days ago

Fast food boss Andrew Puzder is the new administrations labor secretary nominee despite his endorsement of adverts that objectify women

New research has suggested that female employees at fast food restaurants operated by Andrew Puzder, Donald Trumps nomination for labor secretary, face far higher levels of workplace sexual harassment than the industry average. According to the research conducted by Restaurant Opportunities Center( ROC) United, around 66% of female workers reported sexual harassment at brands owned by CKE restaurants, run by Puzder, compared with the average of 40% across the fast food industry.

The man at the top of this particular food chain has repeatedly attained sexist statements and expressed his backing for the infamous adverts that have objectified and sexualised womens bodies to sell hamburgers for CKE restaurants chains including Carls Jr. We believe in putting hot models in our commercials, because ugly ones dont sell burgers, Puzder told, in a 2009 press release. Last year he proudly endorsed the adverts, and stated: I like beautiful women feeing burgers in bikinis I used to hear that brands take on the personality of the CEO. And I rarely thought that was true, but I think this one, in this case, it kind of did take over my personality.

Fifty six per cent of the 564 female CKE restaurant employees surveyed reported sexual harassment from clients, including sexual statements, being asked to have intercourse, being asked to uncover their breasts and being followed outside the store. Significantly, some reported that perpetrators immediately referenced the adverts. Client have asked why I dont dress like the women in the commercials, one Tennessee-based Hardees employee told researchers.( Elizabeth Johnson, a spokesperson for Trumps transition team, called the report fake news that was paid for by unions and special interests opposed to Andy Puzders nomination .)

When the person at the top of a company normalises objectification, it builds it much more socially acceptable for others to treat women in a similar way. This is one of the clearest illustrations yet of the trickle-down effect we see when people who themselves exhibit prejudiced views are put in positions of great power. It is a phenomenon we must prepare ourselves to find a great deal more of after Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45 th President of the United States.

The electoral campaign clearly emboldened prejudice. By December last year, the Southern Poverty Law Center had catalogued more than 1,000 bias-related incidents that had resulted since the election, including anti-immigrant, anti-black, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT abuse. A local Republican politician in Connecticut was arrested for allegedly pinching a female employees genitals, after saying: I love this new world, I no longer have to be politically correct. A Georgia high-school teacher observed a note on her desk telling her that her Muslim headscarf isnt let any more. The note continued: Why dont you tie it around your neck& hang yourself with it? It was signed: America.

Trump and Puzder are not the only members of the incoming administration to have been associated with prejudiced opinions. They join a proposed draft cabinet of largely white humen including figures such as Stephen Bannon, formerly executive chair of a far-right website that has been described as an online haven for white nationalists, and which hosted articles with titles such as: Birth control constructs women unattractive and crazy and Heres why there ought to be a cap on women analyse science.

When powerful role model condone bigotry and discrimination, they make it much easier for hate-fuelled incidents, already so often dismissed or ignored, to be brushed under the carpet in wider society. And when men in power seem to be able to speak and act with impunity, it is much easier for others to excuse similar behaviour.

The lawyer of the Connecticut politician arrested for allegedly grabbing a womans genitals denied any sexual assault and said there had only been a a playful gesture. When a group of male diners at a New York steak house shouted grab them by the pussies at a group of women, restaurant staff reportedly told the women to calm down because these were good guys.

Such leadership also emboldens those who would like to walk back the civil rights and equality gains of the past few decades. Self-styled pickup artist Daryush Roosh V Valizadeh( who has called to make rape legal on private property) wrote on his website, in the consequences of the Trumps victory:

Im in a state of exuberance that we now have a President who rates women on a 1-10 scale in the same route that we do and evaluates girls by their appearance and feminine attitude

This is our moment, he claimed.[ Trumps] presence automatically legitimises masculine behaviours that were previously labelled sexist and misogynist.

The only way to combat this legitimacy and normalisation is for everyday citizens to redouble their efforts to oppose such bigotry. Each one of us has the opportunity, in our actions and reactions, our choices as bystanders and our daily conversations, to speak out against prejudice. When hate-fuelled abuse is gushed on a public bus; when a biased remark is stimulated in the workplace; when bigoted bullying happens on colleges and universities campus; the most important behaviour isnt that of perpetrator or victim, but of the bystanders who have a vital choice to make. Would you put your head down, walk on by and say nothing? Would you mutely send the message that this is the new normal? Or could you be members of the public who dares to stand up and make it clear that this is neither accepted nor acceptable, regardless of who is sitting in the Oval Office.

Thousands of people around the world will start by taking a stand this week, joining the Womens March on Washington( and others around the world) on 21 st January, to send the message that rhetoric and division like that espoused by Donald Trump wont be quietly accepted or ignored.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

‘A part of daily life’: South Korea tackles its voyeurism epidemic

2 months, 13 days ago

Demand grows for tougher penalties for molka the secret filming of images of a sexual nature

Han Jin-young was working for a trading company in Seoul when a visit to the office bathroom exposed the ugly truth about one of her male colleagues.

As she was about to leave, she spotted a pit in the toilet-seat covering, a recent “gift” for female employees from the firm’s vice president. She lifted up the cover to find a tiny camera. It had been recording her every move.

As the UK prepares to introduce legislation banning upskirting, South Korea has been forced to confront its own outbreak of secretly filmed images of a sexual nature, known as molka .

According to police, the number of molka apprehends soared from 1,110 in 2010 to more than 6,600 in 2014, although the real number of cases is thought to be many times higher.

Of the 16,201 people apprehended between 2012 and 2017 for attaining illegal recordings, 98% were men; 84% of the 26,000 recorded victims over that period were women.

The country’s president, Moon Jae-in, recently acknowledged that illegal spycam images had become “a part of daily life” and called for tougher penalties for perpetrators.

Offenders face a fine of up to 10 m won( PS6, 800) or a maximum prison sentence of up to five years, but campaigners tell few feel the full force of the law. Many offenders are ordered to pay modest penalties and in most cases the crime runs unpunished.

‘A deep-seated sexism’

More than 400,000 people recently signed a petition calling on the presidential Blue House to force police to properly investigate all molka allegations. And last month, an estimated 22,000 females took to the streets of Seoul in what local media reported as the biggest women’s rights demo in South Korea’s history.

The protest was called after a woman was quickly arrested and paraded in front of the media- albeit wearing a mask- after she was found to have secretly filmed a nude male model during a university drawing class and posted the video online.

The speed of her arrest led to accusations from an anonymous collective that organised the Right to be Uncomfortable march in June that a double standard was at work when the victims were men.

” A deep-seated sexism lies behind the incredibly unbalanced numbers between men and women regarding this crime ,” one of the organisers, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Guardian.” The problem is aggravated by the uncooperative posture of the police and the light penalties given out by the courts .”

South Korea‘s ubiquitous smartphones and miniature spycams aside, offenders can turn to an array of seemingly everyday items- including pens, watches and shoes- equipped with spycams. The filming is not confined to public toilet: websites carrying spycam footage reveal women being filmed without their knowledge having sexuality, relaxing at home and walking along the street.

South
South Korean women protest against gender inequality and sexual harassment in the workplace. Photo: Jean Chung/ Getty Images

‘The police believed everything he said’

Han, whose name has been changed at her petition, said she” freeze in terror” when she realised she had been secretly filmed.

She confronted the suspect, who admitted he had installed the device but denied watching any of the footage as the camera had only been switched on the previous day. A sceptical Han persevered, and uncovered hundreds of video clips and photographs he had kept of her and other women.

What happened next was typical of the response experienced by South Korean women who attempt to take legal action. Han complained to the police, who initially tried to dismiss her concerns. The vice-president, a colleague of five years, told them he was in love with her and complained that he was no longer intimate with his heavily pregnant wife.

” The police believed everything he told ,” told Han, who discontinued the firm while the vice-president, who still works for the company, was penalty just 500,000 won( PS340 ).

In response to the protest in June, the South Korean government said it would take preventative measures, including checks on thousands and thousands of public toilet and inspections of public buildings.

Police have denied accusations that they fail to take women’s complaints severely, quoting the difficulty of verifying accusations based on footage that often does not show the victim’s face. When they are prosecuted, most perpetrators are told to pay a modest fine.

Wee Eun-jin, head of the women’s rights committee at Lawyers for a Democratic Society, said the current law did little to help victims.

” There have been cases in which no action was taken against a suspect because the recordings were of the victim’s legs or covered buttocks, and the judges believed that this would not have caused impressions of humiliation ,” told Wee, who represents molka victims.

” They live in constant fear. I often advise them not to take their objection to court as I know it will not lead to the result they want. I often end up being their counsellor , not their lawyer. It is heartbreaking. There have just been been a handful of instances where wrongdoers who uploaded such materials were prosecuted and punished ,” said the marching organiser, adding that more protests were planned.

” The victims have to look through countless websites searching for videos that demonstrate their genitals, then capture the image so they can show it to the police. It is humiliating .”

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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