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Archive for the ‘Women’s Issues’ Category

Asia & Pacific

Gang rape videos are being sold in India

By Natalie Alcoba

August 5, 2016 | 10:40 am

Gang rape videos are being sold in a northern Indian state, according to authorities who believe rapists are using cellphone clips as a way to keep their victims quiet.

The Times of India first reported on the recordings, which are fetching 50 to 150 rupees, or 75 cents to $2, in Uttar Pradesh, which has seen a spate of recent rapes that have triggered public calls for its chief minister to resign. The clips are being sold “under the counter”, according to the newspaper, to people who come with a customer’s “reference”, and also via social media. They range in length from 30 seconds to as long as five minutes.

“Porn is passe. These real life crimes are the rage,” an unnamed shopkeeper in Agra, home of the Taj Majal, told the Times of India. It reported that police believe the videos are used as blackmail, to prevent victims from reporting the crimes, or to pressure them into further acts.

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For my 19th birthday — declare #YesAllGirls

Today — my 19th birthday — I’m in Kenya visiting Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp.

Every year on my birthday I travel to meet girls who are struggling to go to school — to stand with them and to make sure the world hears their stories.

Today in Dadaab I met Rahma Hussein Noor, a 19 year-old who has struggled more than most of us can imagine just to go to school.

Rahma came to Dadaab at age 13, having never set foot in a classroom. She worked hard to catch up with her classmates and, in a few years, graduated primary school.

Rahma then enrolled in a secondary school in Dadaab. But when her family returned to Somalia last year, Rahma could not find another school to attend.

After two months, her father said her education was over and decided to marry her to a man over 50 years old whom Rahma had never met.

Rahma snuck out of her house and took an eight day bus ride back to the refugee camp…all to continue her education.

Rahma is not alone. Many girls from Syria, Burundi, Afghanistan, Pakistan and all around the world have lost so much and are then forced to fight for a right they already have — the right to go to school.

Last year, the world agreed to provide 12 years of education for every boy and girl. Yet, nearly one year after making the commitment, where do we stand?

We are facing a global refugee crisis and more and more girls like Rahma are at risk of losing their chance to go to school — and their dreams for a better future.

We cannot allow girls like Rahma to fight alone. It’s time to do right by girls — #YesAllGirls.

Today, on my 19th birthday, I’m asking you to stand with me and keep fightng for girls around the world who are denied an education. Will you make a gift today to ensure girls — #YesAllGirls — get the education we promised them?

Nothing would make me prouder on my birthday than knowing we are in this together.

Like this essay and respond to Malala here >>>>

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First I must admit that I never ever watched “Friends.”  Not even a single solitary episode. Second, I considered Lisa Kudrow the sole intellect in the cast mostly because of her Vassar pedigree.  But Jennifer Aniston has a few things to say and says them very well here.

Jennifer Aniston Breaks Silence on Pregnancy Rumors: ‘I Am Not Pregnant. What I Am Is Fed Up’

John Boone

Jennifer Aniston would like you to know that she is not pregnant right now.

© Provided by ETOnline The actress penned an op-ed for Huffington Post, titled “For the Record,” in which she addresses those pregnancy rumors once and for all and explains how the “stalking and objectification” she has endured by the media is harmful to women.

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I might not have posted this at all since celebs being pissed off at paparazzi is nothing new and maybe especially for reasons Aniston cites … until I saw this in the footer beneath the story.

There’s Something Disturbing Going On With This Photo Of The Royal Family. Do You See It?

Jul 5, 2015  | By

At first glance, it looks perfect…

It’s that time of year when holiday cards are sent out. Following the tradition, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge released their annual greeting photo to the people. At first glance, the photo is picture perfect, but if you look closely, there’s something a tad out of place…

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… and then you have to say WTF????!!!! And Aniston is 100% right!  Picking on a little baby who did not ask to be born into a royal family and, as far as I can tell, is just a delightful little baby girl!

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Hillary Clinton made a major policy speech yesterday.  She’s running for president of the United States.  Every time she opens her mouth – and she has a pretty mouth that says smart things that some people sometimes dislike – somebody has something to say about how she sounds.  Seems it is never “just right.”

This popped up in my newsfeed which pretty concisely packages the issue.

03/23/2016 06:09 pm ET

I don’t know.  What does Hillary Clinton have to do to get it “just right?”  To  get anything just right? Personally, I was worried about how her poor voice would hold up, it had suffered such abuse these past weeks on the campaign trail.  It held up fine, and for my money her tenor was fine.  When Hillary gives policy speeches, she generally is calm and deliberate.  I have watched many over the past eight years since I began keeping track of her secretary of state tenure. That is her policy speech style.  I don’t even want to go into that.  Paige Lavender did the topic justice.  But what does Hillary have to do to get things “just right?”  More to the point, why does she have to?

Everybody has something to say about what she wears, how she sounds, how she looks.  Wear that yellow for the speech.  No!  Oh!  Not that awful yellow!  Be forceful!  Oh no!  Don’t yell.  Smile more!

Why can’t Hillary just be Hillary?  Why can’t the most qualified person ever to run in my life (Harry Truman began as a haberdasher – youngsters, just go google it –  I’m too tired – he was the first to run in my life) have a fair chance to spell out her plans without everybody talking about her tone, facial expression, and whatever other third element hits the windshield of the armchair quarterbacks.

When Hillary and I were in college, Marshall McLuhan (go look him up – I am tired of spoonfeeding voting age people) said the “medium is the message.”  He meant medium as print v. video.  So video is the message today, even though I still like to get my hands on transcripts and lift the passages I think are important. Video – and audio – are the whole show.

I know I am biased.  But WTF??????? What is so offensive about Hillary that Bernie’s foghorn and gesticulating, Ted’s cartoon voice, John’s bedtime story voice, and Trump’s bellowing (“Get ‘im out!”) fail to surpass in offensiveness, condescension, plain old annoyance?

Why is her wardrobe an issue?  They all look like a suit rack at the cleaners.  Why, when she puts forward the only sane. thought-out, and comprehensive plan to combat terrorism is anything other than her words and her plan an issue?

It really never entered my mind that we would have a woman president. I loved Shirley Chisholm.  She sat them all down like she was the detention teacher in the halls of Congress. Pat Schroeder gave it her best, and Gerri Ferraro made me proud coming within a margin of being a heartbeat away.  But this was never a goal.

It’s just that right now we have the best candidate I have ever seen.  She happens to be a woman with a message, a set of plans, and a way of explaining things. She’s not hard to look at, not hard to listen to, and, when you bother to listen, not hard to understand –  she explains well.

Why can’t Hillary get it just right?  Or is it that the chairs keep getting moved around while the music blares?

02-13-14-Y-02Why don’t the guys have to be pitch perfect?  Why don’t they even have to pitch it over home base, actually, as long as they throw?

Thank you Hillary Clinton for running for president when you didn’t have to.  Thank you for your plans, your brilliance, and for always being right on target while looking pretty and being your spunky and empathetic self. Your Homegirls love you!

 

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Maybe we do actually need to talk about this.

The Year of the Toilet

Credit Hartmut Loebermann/Westend61/Corbis

THERE was, of course, the terrorism, and talk of immigration, and guns. But 2015 has emerged as the Year of the Toilet, when private business became part of a public debate about acceptance, inclusion, double standards and equality.

It began when transgender men and women stepped into the spotlight, and some conservatives tried to whip up potty panic, claiming, without a shred of evidence, that allowing transitioning men into the ladies’ room was an invitation to trouble. In the spring, the Department of Labor issued guidelines saying that employers should allow transgender employees to use the restroom of their choosing. But in November, Houston voters rejected an anti-discrimination ordinance that would have protected trans people’s right to make that choice.

Our nation’s toilet moment crested on Saturday at the latest Democratic debate when Hillary Clinton showed up late from a bathroom break. Turns out the ladies’ room was a minute-and-45-second walk from the podium, which leaves very little time to take care of business during a brief commercial break. Thus, for one awkward instance, the woman striving to lead the free world was merely a woman trying to find a free stall.

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We have all heard stories of women working production lines not being allowed to leave the floor to answer the call of nature.  The ladies’ room is the great equalizer.  Needing to use it may be the last bastion of sexist attitudes that we really cannot qualify for leadership positions for anatomical, physical, and dispositional reasons.

Age-old claims that women cannot lead because they “become hormonal” were rampant as recently as our 2008 primary season although I have not heard that one  – yet – this cycle.  (Pardon the pun.)  Never mind that the people who seem to throw the worst, bouncing-off-the-walls, red-faced, screaming tantrums are men.  I have been around this type in almost every aspect of my life all my life.  From boyfriends, to husbands, to bosses, to colleagues, to employees, to male relatives – they surround us, judge us, make unreasonable demands, and they yell – a lot.  Male explosive devices.  M-E-Ds. (AKA bullies.) For some women, they actually become deadly.  I am not exaggerating, as most women know.

I once held a position that involved several days every four weeks of crazy busy, nonstop, multi-tasking, intense work.  There were no breaks in a 14 to 16 hour day.  When I needed – badly – to get to the ladies’ room for a quick change with a tampon hidden in the pocket of my black slacks, my boss stopped me. Physically.  Grabbed my arm and demanded that I immediately come to his office to meet a visiting dignitary.  It had been a long, busy morning, and I knew I could not wait. I said, “I will be there in two minutes.”  His face flushed the color of burgundy and he yelled, “NOW!” We were surrounded by my staff and students, maybe about 40 people.  I apologized and said I was sorry, and I would be there right away. He bellowed some more,  treating me like a naughty child trying to duck out of a responsibility. I turned my back and walked away.  I had to. It was going to be a disaster had I not.  I could not have sat down on a chair in his office without one of those “worst accidents” happening.  I know I am not the only one.  I know countless women have had experiences like this.  We never talk about it.  No one wants to hear it.

The Donald Trumps in this world will tell you that this is exactly the kind of “disgusting” situation women engender.  Remember Megyn Kelly? You can’t even talk about it.  You can’t explain.  If you do, you are proving why women should just shut up and stay home because men do not want to hear about it or deal with it – even if it just means you need two minutes to make a quick change. Silencio.  They don’t want to hear.  They don’t want to know.

Jennifer Weiner quotes Muriel Ruykeyser:

“What would happen if a woman told the truth about her life?” the poet and activist Muriel Rukeyser once asked. “The world would crack open.”

Maybe we do need to talk about this.  Or perhaps it all remains taboo because it just too disgusting.

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Daily, it is as if someone has asked him if he possibly could be a little more repellent and disgusting.

Poll: Trump presidency would embarrass half of Americans

Lisa Hagen 

While half of all polled would be embarrassed to have Trump as president, the majority of that sentiment comes from Democrats and independents.

For Republicans, 44 percent would be proud to have Trump in the White House, twice as much as GOP voters who would be embarrassed.

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The “proud” ones do not understand how offensive that word was.  He hit a new, nauseating low on the sleaze-o-meter. Revolting!

Ralphy Christmas story soap
Cross-posted at still4hill.com.

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Just in case you were under the impression that we were doing, pretty well, this is worth a read.

3 Foreign Women Visited The U.S. To Assess Gender Equality. They Were Horrified.

The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post

Laura Bassett 8 hrs ago

Eleonora Zielinska, left, Alda Facio and Frances Raday. Lt. Gov Kay Ivey/Guillermo Padres Elias/Flickr

© Lt. Gov Kay Ivey/Guillermo Padres Elias/Flickr Eleonora Zielinska, left, Alda Facio and Frances Raday. Lt. Gov Kay Ivey/Guillermo Padres Elias/Flickr

A delegation of human rights experts from Poland, the United Kingdom and Costa Rica spent 10 days this month touring the United States so they can prepare a report on the nation’s overall treatment of women. The three women, who lead a United Nations working group on discrimination against women, visited Alabama, Texas and Oregon to evaluate a wide range of U.S. policies and attitudes, as well as school, health and prison systems.The delegates were appalled by the lack of gender equality in America. They found the U.S. to be lagging far behind international human rights standards in a number of areas, including its 23 percent gender pay gap, maternity leave, affordable child care and the treatment of female migrants in detention centers.

SNIP

The women discovered during their visit that women in the United States have “missing rights” compared to the rest of the world. For instance, the U.S. is one of three countries in the world that does not guarantee women paid maternity leave. The U.N. suggests that countries guarantee at least 14 weeks of paid parental leave. Some countries go further — Iceland requires five months paid leave for each parent, and an additional two months to be shared between them.

SNIP

While the delegates were shocked by many things they saw in the U.S., perhaps the biggest surprise of their trip, they said, was learning that women in the country don’t seem to know what they’re missing.

“So many people really believe that U.S. women are way better off with respect to rights than any woman in the world,” Raday said. “They would say, ‘Prove it! What do you mean other people have paid maternity leave?'”

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