Sunday 20th of September 2020

the beauty of feminism...


The latest foray into feminism by Janet Albrechtsen is telling:
Patronising quotas can't fuel women's progress
From [where else?]:
The Australian February 13, 2013
MANY stupid ideas sound good at first blush. They have a certain emotional appeal to listeners and, even better, make the presenter of the idea feel good about themselves. That's why they get a regular airing.

Just last week, Peter Hunt, a well-known Sydney investment banker and corporate director, said the Corporations Act should set a quota of at least 25 per cent female directors on corporate boards.


One could be ready to believe that Janet  — having reached her own level of incompetence in the Peter Principle — wants to make sure other female don't make the same mistake or try go beyond the Janet-proof ceiling she's been bashing her head against without noticing it — unless she's placed the ceiling herself to stop other women to go where she is and rob her of a good wicket...  Such a belief would be nasty and sarcastic... 

But all in all, feminism is not a dirty word contrary to what Janet has been trying to tell us for yonks. In fact feminism can have beauty as well as equality...

Sure, in Janet's mind, females like Carrie in search of Mr Big is the idea of complete sheila liberation...  In fact, one does not have to even read between the lines, the sexually liberated four girls of "Sex in the City" are an entertaining sorry lot of women who want to be free to bonk whomever in search of lurv — but they yearn for the man to whom they will submit to forever... Then they "freely" discuss their bonking experiences while buying a handbag or/and a pair of new shiny shoes, when the girls are meeting together ... This makes good vicarious teevee but does not help one iota the cause of women beyond a few bum jokes in a mostly sexually frustrated environment, despite the "liberation"... The blokes in the series seem to stay clear of commitment or are gay material. And who would not?... Some American women can crush your nuts just by talking behind your back to their friends... I have witnessed this deed a few time in real life. Hubby is only there for the service and supply of cash.


As one said "things are complicated"... Well we often complicate things when we fail to commit and live in indecision. But commitment can be crushing as well. 

Many women are trying to break the shackles that, of course, Janet never fully experienced, because I believe she has a strong personality and liberated herself of all such frustrations, including gaining the freedom from proper knowledge... Janet has opinions. Knowledge of stuff, especially scientific stuff is thus skewed to fit these opinions. Reality and repeat of scientific experiments have no place in a universe of Janet's opinions.

Meanwhile some women decry that this humanoid universe is slanted towards the power of men — especially over women. Not that women can't have the same power since the invention of the lever, of push buttons and of intellectual thoughts... But this slant towards the power of men is also a religious hangover that is hard to shake.

Between you me and a row of Obeid lampposts in George Street, Sydney, I don't know why some women are eager to become priests or popes... May be they have an agenda, outside the religious fumes, that one day through penetrating (see my subtle reversal of purpose) this men-ruled religiosity, they will control the world... No. They just want equality, beyond the idea of fake differential equality.

The whole religion mantra is perverse. Abraham has a lot to answer for this perversion... But then what can you expect from an old bearded man ready to kill his own son for the glory of god? Nuts! I have harped many times about this vapourous subject and today the only thing I will say, if you must believe in god, women (or men), do it in your own heart — not in someone else's crushing church or unforgiving mosque. Let go of the self-serving men-created shackles of religious dictum. 


I know, I know... Most women who tried this and invent their own beliefs have often been painted as witches... No kidding... All through history, women who stray beyond the pathway carved by men are deemed witches and the more ugly, the more wicked witch they are... The good looking ones were of course deemed to be "temptresses"..... We, unfortunately, live in the world of fairy tale fantasies that are still permeating the world of grown men, who are secretly dreaming of suckling their mothers.

No. Enough.

Feminists and feminism can be beautiful. But people like Janet may think that Greer is the face of the "wicked" feminism... Greer is not Miss Universe, nor is Janet — but Greer has a much better brain than Janet's. Yet the option here is not Greer or Janet, but that women have the capacity and the opportunities to cut it equally with men. Simple.


At the moment, too many men are reluctant to let this happen, because they have manufactured a roundabout boy's club culture in a corporate environment that can smell of sexism and patronisation — but in which they have to watch their own back. It's like war and women should not have to face this kind of things — the pretty little things... It's war — in which corporate (temporary) death is often rewarded with a handsome lumpy lot of cash. The player then moves on to another corporation, like a priest moves on to another parish after an indiscretion.

Let's be brutal here... In order to be in the corporate sphere, be at CEO or director or president level, one needs to have some knowledge how the system at the top works, and whose arse needs to be kicked or licked as the case may be. But it's not rocket science. There are university degrees in which one can learn how to become a director of companies... And many women, possibly more than men pass with flying colours.


Yet, most women in a feminist focus, operate with slightly different rules to this man's game. A different style of sociopathy can enter the room. Men can become confused by a woman telling it like it is rather than fudge with glossy bullshit like men often do: " Er John? Your department seems to be under-performing at the moment, why don't you sack a couple of people and make the others tighten their arse a bit..." Well not quite but you get the gist...


But of all things, some women hate other women... Men barely hate other men, they just push them down the corporate elevator shaft: "Sorry mate. it's my turn to go up..."

Some women pride on being precise and right. They often are. That is the underlying threat to the boorish men in pinstripes who go to lunch and ridicule the spirit of the poorest bastards... and of women.


Unless they think about the advancement of men, only...:

"What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve" Napoleon Hill...


A bit sexist though one can try to make excuses about the times, but the word man rarely encompassed, encompasses or will emcompass women...



Happy equalised Valentine...

Gus Leonisky


Further reading:


the war on women....

The image of the feminist as a mirthless, hirsute, sex-averse succubus is a friendly-fire casualty of the Republican “war on women.” It’s a grave loss to conservatives, who have used this faithful foot soldier as a comfortably grotesque stand-in for the real people whose liberties they have sought to conscribe: women.

In a famous 1992 fundraising letter, television evangelist Pat Robertson described feminism as a movement that “encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians,” while conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh has stated that “feminism was established to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream.” The characterization is so potent and pervasive that lefties have also availed themselves of it. In 2005, liberal blogger Markos Moulitsas dismissed feminist complaints as the “humorless, knee-jerk . . . tedious” stuff of “the sanctimonious women’s-studies set.”

one billion rising....

There were marches in Afghanistan, human chains in Bangladesh and a debate in the British parliament on Thursday to celebrate One Billion Rising, a campaign to raise awareness of violence against women.

Started by activist and Vagina Monologues author Eve Ensler, the campaign asked participants to dance in solidarity with the one billion women estimated to be abuse survivors.

After women in countries ranging from Somalia to Australia took part, Ensler said the day's success was beyond her wildest dreams.

The event marked 15 years since Ensler founded the V-Day movement, which used Valentine's Day to raise awareness of the violence faced by women around the world.

She spent the day at the City of Joy, a refuge for rape victims she founded in Congo.

The broad theme of the campaign allowed its message to be adapted to each country.

In Germany, events in 126 cities highlighted how sexual violence is dealt with in the criminal system; a parliamentary debate in the UK focused on sex and relationship education in schools.

Hundreds of women and men marched through streets in Afghanistan. One said they were protesting against the women "sold and raped, and subjected to other violence" in the country. tens of thousands of people were said to have joined rallies and dance events in India, where there is still widespread anger over the recent gang rape and murder of a medical student in Delhi.

one billion rising

having it all...

Once, if a newspaper or magazine wanted to sell extra copies, it would put a banner headline "What Do Women Want?" on the front page. These days, the attention-grabber is "Can Women Have It All?"

We've come a long way, baby.

If once we were vapid creatures who, in the view of Sigmund Freud, could not decide what we wanted, now we are voracious careerists who want the lot. That the question is even posed is, of course, gratuitous and demeaning, since the "all" refers to having a job and a family. If you are a bloke, you can have it "all" without anyone raising an eyebrow - or even asking how you manage to "do it all".

This was a source of particular irritation to Nicola Roxon who resigned as attorney-general earlier this month and who is leaving the Parliament at the next election because she wants to be at home for her young daughter. She often mentioned in media interviews that it really riled her that she was constantly asked how she managed to combine being a cabinet minister with being a wife and mother, whereas her male colleagues who were husbands and fathers were never asked the same question.

It is not just frustrating but, in fact, scandalous that the myriad assumptions and, let's face it, prejudices that lie behind this question have not really altered in more than half a century. If we didn't still think, deep down, that women's primary function is to breed and raise children, the question of "all" simply would not arise.

Read more:

meanwhile, sophie is no match to julia...


The government says this will be worth $1.6 billion a year in extra work to local firms.

Projects worth more than $2 billion will also have to set up an office of Australian industry capability in their procurement headquarters.

The government will also establish 10 innovation precincts around the country by 2014, starting with a manufacturing one based in south-east Melbourne and Adelaide.

Opposition spokeswoman for Innovation and Industry Sophie Mirabella said she was ‘‘bitterly disappointed’’ with the plan.

‘‘We’ve seen the government destroy the R and D concession for manufactures and today they make some more changes,’’ Ms Mirabella said.

‘‘If we are going to be smart, if we are going to be innovative, we can’t keep chopping and changing and reducing access to the R and D tax concession which has happened under this government.’’

However, Ms Gillard said there was no way to cut spending to match the government revenue write-down of $160 billion that resulted from the global financial crisis.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) welcomed the plan.AMWU national secretary Paul Bastian said it put the one million Australians employed in the manufacturing sector ‘‘front and centre in a diverse Australian economy’’.


Read more:


Yes sophie, the idea here is to keep the R & D in this country... A reasonable idea it seems...

sister love... ish....

Hilary Mantel v the Duchess of Cambridge: a story of lazy journalism and raging hypocrisy

Daring to discuss the way in which the media manipulates women is the real cause of this latest tabloid outrage


But the liberal press has been arguably just as bad, with the Independent providing a kindly list, allowing readers to compare "the author and the princess", again emphasising Mantel's weight. The subject of women talking about women has become as fraught an issue for the left as it is for the right. The conservative press loves a good woman v woman – or "author v princess" – fight because it suggests that women are all hysterical girlies who can't be trusted with proper grownup issues because they'll start throwing tampons at one another. If, say, Martin Amis said anything vaguely similar to Mantel's comments about Kate, he would not have received anywhere near the same amount of publicity.

On the liberal side, one of the tenets of the fourth wave of feminism, which is just starting to crest, is that women should not criticise one another's life choices. Rather, every lifestyle, every fashion choice is acceptable because they all reflect a woman's freedom of choice, whether it's going out in one's underwear (Slutwalk) or, well, being a princess. This kind of open-ended tolerance is all well and good, except when it then results in people attacking another woman for expressing an opinion about an industry that exploits their own, as invariably happens when a woman discusses, say, Page 3 girls or strip clubs.

Mantel was discussing how the royal family and the media manipulate women; it is of little surprise that the media would attack her back. But this nonsense highlights how it is still, apparently, impossible to be a woman and put forth a measured opinion about one of your own without it being twisted into some kind of screed-ish, unsisterly attack. As Mantel has learnt to her cost today, it's not only royal women who are expected to stay quiet.


Yep.. the media manipulates everything... EVERYTHING!!!

more duplicitous expert...


What can the PM do next given her poll numbers are in wipe-out territory? Cotterell and O'Rourke, Breaking Politics' communications specialists, sharpen their advice.
Read more:

I love you Julia Gillard, in a platonic ''gee you're brave, wish I were as smart as you, you've done some great things, had a red hot go, our daughters will thank you, we'll miss you, no one blames you for not being perfect, we're all flawed and those flaws can take us a long way,'' sort of way.And what's not to love about a politician such as you?
Julia Gillard, it is time for you to make your graceful, dignified, humble, selfless exit from the prime ministership.
Stay and it's harder for those who love you to save the furniture and protect your legacy.

Oh the hypocrisy of Alan Stokes... "I love youse, blah blah..." Sure there must be far more university years in him studying political science (artistic bullshitry) than with me since I have none. But as an old war horse from two revolutions and one military occupation, I know where you can stuff the Judas who is there to do 100 per cent Tony Abbott's Liberal (conservative) bidding under the guise of a love-in...
Everyone with a degree in political sciences or people who pose as "experts" on this subject — especially communication — when they become PART OF a destructive CABAL in the media, frighten the bejesus out of me (well they really don't — I just think they're crap), by the sheer gall of their scholarly and studious misunderstandings... 


I owe an apology on the first posting of this item because of the way this item is posted on the SMH website like a sock full of holes... I must be getting too old for twit-like captions... Actually the words above were written by Alan Stokes... who in my little mind is joining the kill-Julia bandwagon... for no other reason that THERE IS A BANDWAGON... Yep, that's the way it's done, become one of them executioners before... before what?... Why does the public at large "do not like Julia"? Because the media has been horrible to her and horribly sneaky at demonising her... So, Alan why don't do the honorable thing and tell the media to put a sock in it?... or commit hara-kiri...  Ah, I see you're the media...

At least one of the sisters tell Julia to stick at it, and is very smart... While the other one makes sure the media still knife julia some more... Idiotic... The main stream media won't want to to give anything good...and will make sure Julia cannot communicate with the public... Kill the media, sure...

Bringing in Rudd won't make any effing difference... Except he will blow up like a twice-risen soufflé into a pancake...
I expected better from Tim Lester... than to let the REAL "main" media influence question go under the carpet... Ah, I see he is the media...


ruling the world...

Not so long ago, the idea that women might rule the world seemed slightly ridiculous - like something out of science fiction. But in an essay to mark International Women's Day, political analyst and former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers argues it's now a topic that can be seriously discussed.

Women clearly lacked the intellectual capacity and emotional fortitude to make the difficult decisions that leadership required. It wasn't bias, it was biology - it was just the way women were made.

But that was then. In recent decades, attitudes and ideas have changed - and fast. That's not to say that every corner of the world has welcomed women moving from the traditional and private into the modern and public. But move they have.

So what's changed? A lot. As a huge and growing body of research and experience makes clear, empowering women makes things better. Not perfect. But better. 

of philosophy, sexism and wanking...

A Star Philosopher Falls, and a Debate Over Sexism Is Set Off


Ever since Socrates’ wife was painted as a jealous shrew by one of his pupils, women have had it tough in philosophy.

Thinkers from Aristotle to Kant questioned whether women were fully capable of reason. Today, many in the field say, gender bias and outright sexual harassment are endemic in philosophy, where women make up less than 20 percent of university faculty members, lower than in any other humanities field, and account for a tiny fraction of citations in top scholarly journals.

While the status of women in the sciences has received broad national attention, debate about sexism in philosophy has remained mostly within the confines of academia. But the revelation this summer that Colin McGinn, a star philosopher at the University of Miami, had agreed to leave his tenured post after allegations of sexual harassment brought by a graduate student, has put an unusually famous name to the problem, exposing the field to what some see as a healthy dose of sunlight.

“People are thinking, ‘Wow, he had to resign, and we know about it,’ ” said Jennifer Saul, the chairwoman of the philosophy department at the University of Sheffield in England and the editor of the blog What Is It Like to Be a Woman in Philosophy?

“I think that’s unprecedented,” she added.

The case, which was first reported by The Chronicle of Higher Education, has set off voluminous chatter among philosophers on blogs and social media. The discussion has been fueled partly by Mr. McGinn’s own blog, where his use of the cryptic language of analytic philosophy in attempts to defend himself seems to have backfired.

Two open letters, posted online in mid-July and signed by more than 100 philosophers, including a majority of Mr. McGinn’s colleagues at Miami, criticized some of the posts on his blog as “retaliation” against the student.

Meanwhile, some of Mr. McGinn’s posts —  including one meditating on the difference between “suggesting” an action and “entertaining” it, and another (since removed) riffing on alternate meanings of a crude term for masturbation — have struck even some of Mr. McGinn’s onetime supporters as less philosophical than self-incriminating.


Read article at top...

what about pippa's butt?...


After the slavering media frenzy over the Duchess of Cambridge's post-baby body (the horrified shock that she "still had a baby bump" mere hours after the birth; the nauseating OK! Cover heralding her "post-baby weight loss regime" ONE DAY after Prince George popped out; the blaring proclamation of the first post-partum long-lens skinny-jeans sighting and the recent tabloid explosion when her top rode up for a split second as she played volleyball revealing gasp a sliver of stomach) it was difficult to imagine that things could possibly get any worse. Step forward and take a bow Daily Star.

Under a front-page headline so ridiculous I assumed it was a spoof for a couple of hours, the paper ran the "story": Di ghost tells the duchess: You're too thin! They labelled it an exclusive.

That's right. Not only has the body relentlessly lauded and photographed and peddled to women everywhere as the ultimate pinnacle of ideal, unachievable, feminine thinness attracted the inevitable media backlash – but the paper in question had the gall to take body shaming to a completely new plane. The unrelenting criticism of women's figures has gone paranormal.

What this almost surreal moment of self-satire on the part of the tabloid press shows is that there are no lengths to which it will not go to find new and front-page-worthy ways of reducing women in the public eye to their body parts and then gleefully finding them wanting. How long can this go on? At what point, or after which baby (number three, or four perhaps?), are we finally going to yawn, stretch, and say: we've really examined this woman's body from every conceivable angle and during every imaginable biological process now – perhaps it's time to go crazy and see what she has to say instead? There is something sickeningly weird about the inverse correlation between the ubiquity of the duchess's appearance (splashed across the front of every magazine, newspaper, postcard, tea towel, commemorative china mug) and the rarity of her voice.


Ghosts of course are well-known for being bitchy... So there. We not only live in the era of deceit, but also in the era of the inane and the plastered... But the grip of this form of entertainment is devastating — contrary to moving towards sex equality and/or gender equality. Every morning most women trying to cut it in the world, have to sex-up as if they were lying to go to war with lipstick as their weapon. It's a sad case of denigration of purpose through "beauty improvements" which advertising cultivates shamelessly. 


Says the wife of the bandana bloke (Lisa Wilkinson — sorry Lisa, I was playing the way of the blokes):



When I saw just a few month ago that Australia's most trusted publication, theWomen's Weekly ran a cover story, "Why Women Hate Women," I despaired, because I recognised the syndrome. I don't believe Australian women do hate women, but I despair when I see the same media that decries sexism and misogyny, itself engaging in it with such uncaring ease.

* I despair that every time a female journalist is profiled in the press, her age is usually mentioned by the second paragraph, as if it is a measure of her sexual currency and just how long it will be, before it expires. And yet, does anyone here know or care how old Kerry O'Brien, Kochie, Tony Jones, Hugh Riminton, Ray Martin, Peter Overton or Laurie Oakes are? They are all brilliant at what they do, and the rule of thumb is that the more experienced they are, the better they are at their jobs. So why, so often, doesn't that same measure apply to women?
* I despair when so many gossip magazines use ridicule of women as their stock in trade. How many times do we see female celebrities used as the mass bully targets, almost always based on their appearance.
* I despair whenever I hear the words "Post Baby Body" accompanied by images of yet another celebrity who in four amazing weeks has managed to immediately wipe away any physical trace of evidence that she had ever been pregnant in the first place. And we're meant to aspire to that?
* I despair when I see another "Celebrities With Anorexia" gossip cover complete with before and after paparazzi shots, calculated to show each one of them at their sad, tortured worst. It's pure voyeurism and ridicule masquerading as concern.
* I despair when I see the young female radio DJ disappear from sight and unable to work, after being caught up in a prank call to a London Hospital, that saw a troubled nurse take her own life. Meanwhile her male co-host gets promoted and is given a major industry award by his employer as "Top Jock' of the year. Oh well, as they say, "shit happens."
* I despair, when our Federal Cabinet of 2013, has just one woman to 19 men - and we women are told, even by other women, we must shoulder the burden of blame for this lack of female parliamentary presence due to our lack of "merit" . . . if only we were more talented, we're told, we might get half a chance of a look in.
* I despair that so many young girls are growing up, held hostage via social media to the views others have of them, long before they even know who they are themselves.
* I despair of the Instagram culture, where young girls learn to take off as much clothing as possible in order to generate the greatest number of "likes" from an audience too often made up of strangers. This is now the screwed-up arbiter of a girl's self esteem?
*I despair when a retired male journalist called Jeff Barker complains that he can no longer watch the TV news because young female journalists who are simply - and competently - getting on with their job . . . are apparently TOO attractive for him to concentrate. Wake up, Jeff!
*And, as a former magazine editor, allow me to speak on something I feel most passionately of all: I TRULY despair, every time Fashion Week rolls around and another parade of tragically skinny young women make their way down the catwalk. Every year! The designers blame the agents, the agents insist the girls are healthy, while the fashion editors hand the models yet another size 6 garment to wear in photos shoots because, and I'm quoting fashion editors here: it's the only size the designer samples come in! Meanwhile, former Vogue editor Kirstie Clements admits that she's seen models eat tissues to suppress their appetites so they can stay skinny enough to fit the clothes they're required to wear.

But I say no more excuses! No more pointing the finger at others as the cause of the problem. We need a simple rule, a compact: we the editors of the women's magazines of Australia feel that our duty is to present healthy images to the young women of Australia, and this far outweighs any other consideration. Therefore, we will not display in our magazines, clothes that arrive in a size 6!

If not our generation, then whose? If not now, then when?

Because so many young Australian girls are struggling. And this barrage of impossible, unattainable images is a big part of why. It is no decent solution to our broader journalistic problems of how to retain eyeballs and circulations. It is a betrayal, to use an old-fashioned term, of our duty of care.

To the rising generation of female journalists in the room, and those watching at home, allow me to say that I appreciate you have come into the media at a difficult time. I know the frustration and concern many of you feel, because a lot of you have told me.

The wonderful thing is - and I want to end on a positive note, there are actually are a lot of bright shining stars for us all to steer by.


Read more:


See top and story at top... As most advertising for women is about beauty product, most advertising for men is for beer.


Welcome to the cultivation of stereotypes in advertising and life in general...


the equal nordic beauties...



The folks up north have just figured out — and it's not rocket science! — that everybody is better off when men and women share power and influence. They're not perfect — there's still some unfinished business about how women are treated in the private sector, and we've sensed an undertone of darker forces in pop culture phenoms like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. But Scandinavians have decided that investment in women is both good for social relations and a smart economic choice. Unsurprisingly, Nordic countries have strong economies and rank high on things like innovation — Sweden is actually ahead of the U.S. on that metric. (So please, no more nonsense about how inequality makes for innovation.)

The good news is that things are getting better for women in most places in the world. But the World Economic Forum report shows that the situation either remains the same or is deteriorating for women in 20 percent of countries.

In the U.S., we've evened the playing field in education, and women have good economic opportunities. But according to the WEF, American women lag behind men in terms of health and survival, and they hold relatively few political offices. Both facts become painfully clear every time a Tea Party politician betrays total ignorance of how the female body works. Instead of getting more women to participate in the political process, we've got setbacks like a new voter ID law in Texas, which could disenfranchise one-third of the state's woman voters. That's not going to help the U.S. become a world leader in gender equality.

Maybe one day we'll decide to follow the Nordic example. But at the moment, we seem to be moving away from Iceland and closer to Yemen. Is that really what we want?

(Lynn Parramore is a Reuters contributor. The opinions expressed are her own)


young feminist in a fundamentalist environment...

Pakistani private schools ban book written by schoolgirl campaigner Malala Yousafzai

Pakistani private schools have been barred from buying a book written by schoolgirl campaigner Malala Yousafzai due to its "anti-Pakistan" and "anti-Islam" content.

Kashir Mirza, the chief of All Pakistan Private Schools Federation, told AFP, "Yes we have banned Malala's book ('I am Malala') because it carries the content which is against our country's ideology and Islamic values".

"We are not against Malala. She is our daughter and she is herself confused about her book and her father has asked the publisher to remove the paragraphs about Salman Rushdie and write Peace Be Upon Him after the name of our Holy Prophet (Mohammad)," Mr Mirza said.

British novelist Rushdie became the target of an Iranian fatwa, or religious edict, calling for his murder for allegedly blaspheming Islam and the Prophet Mohammed in his book The Satanic Verses.

Blasphemy is a sensitive issue in Pakistan and carries the death penalty.

Mr Mirza said that that some 152,000 private schools across Pakistan stood in solidarity with Malala after she was shot by the Taliban in north-western Swat valley last year, but the views she had expressed in her autobiography were not "acceptable".

"No school will buy 'I am Malala' for its library or any other co-curricular activity on the campus," he said.

He denied any threat or pressure by any militant group on his federation to ban the book. Taliban militants had threatened to attack Pakistani book shops selling Malala's book.

Co-written with British journalist Christina Lamb, "I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban" tells of the 16-year-old's terror as two gunmen boarded her school bus on October 9, 2012 and shot her in the head.

The book describes Malala's life under the Taliban's brutal rule in northwest Pakistan's Swat valley in the mid-2000s, hints at her ambition to enter Pakistani politics, and even describes her father's brief flirtation with Islamic fundamentalism as a youngster.

see also:

now it is being commercialised...


Hadley Freeman


In any event, feminism is already getting a makeover, without Whedon and Elle's help. Comedian and (occasional Guardian colleague) Bridget Christie currently has a show in London in which she describes how magazines love it when she writes about feminism – but they'd prefer she'd talk about Lena Dunham instead of Malala Yousafzai "because we want to use a photo of Lena Dunham". You can even buy £250 necklaces proclaiming your feminism, which is surely the kind of "celebration of our femininity and softness" Halliwell craved. Feminism is having a trendy moment, you see, so now it is being commercialised. This is the equivalent of plucking the eyebrows of a very pretty girl in a movie so she's more acceptable to her stupid frat boy date. Leave her hairy. Leave her be.

I wish feminism were more complicated because it would explain why so many people misunderstand it. But it is actually amazingly simple: it is a belief in gender equality. There are complications within it, but that's all it is. The reason it has a special name is because equality is not the human race's default position and only a very wealthy, white, heterosexual man could possibly think otherwise.

As I grew older, I came to like makeover scenes a lot less because it became obvious to me that it wasn't the woman who needed making over, it was everyone else who needed an open mind. Feminism doesn't need a makeover, a rebranding, a softer sound or even a gold necklace: some people just need an education.


feminist pig...

From Annabel Crabb


It's a grim Christmas here in the ABC trenches. Ordnance whistles overhead, and the whine of the air-raid sirens has become a normal feature of daily life.

One minute it's Miranda Devine strafing Behind The News. The next, it's a devastating artillery assault centring on the fact that Kerry O'Brien was paid - PAID! - to do his interviews with Paul Keating.

And our wartime ears are already normalising The Australian's loud editorials fulminating about the evils of subsidised broadcasters. (In The Australian's defence, these editorials need to be loud. Otherwise, how could they be heard over the terrible cries of the hacks from the News tabloids, toiling below decks to generate sufficient cash for their unprofitable national sibling to keep a small band of readers relentlessly apprised of the ABC's failings?)

But on Friday, News Corp's Piers Akerman opened up a radical new front. He got The Pig involved.

The column started as a perfectly ordinary light-to-medium ABC-gumming on the usual theme of organisational leftist propaganda and generalised wickedness. But then, this: "Even the cartoon character Peppa Pig pushes a weird feminist line that would be closer to the hearts of Labor's Handbag Hit Squad than the preschool audience it is aimed at."

This is a serious allegation. Of all the programs watched on the ABC's iView platform, Peppa Pig is the most popular by a long straw. Between January and November this year, the show was watched 25 million times. That is correct, 25 million times; impressive, even when you factor in the possibility that several million of those might have been Mr Akerman, monitoring the cartoon piglet round the clock for signs of latent man-hate.

So that's a lot of weird feminist mind-bending going on. Thank goodness someone has finally put the pieces together; Peppa's ungirlish love of puddle-jumping, her casual insubordination to her father ("Oh dear. Daddy Pig is too fat to squeeze into the cubby house!"), and the sinister presence of Miss Rabbit, who has about a hundred jobs, is unmarried, and sometimes babysits for her sister, Mrs Rabbit. Mrs Rabbit has only four children, which for a rabbit seems so suspiciously low a count that she might just as well be a brand ambassador for birth control.

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Congratulations Annabel for this piece... Too often your writings are sitting on the fence trying to offend no-one but offending me by not being committed... Thus I sarcastically supposed when your meal ticket at the ABC is under threat, you can dish it out as good as any one else to those ultra-rite wing hacks. A bit more of this please on other subjects and you will be a shinning star... Leaning to the left is not a sin. 



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there to celebrate the gore of war not for breast-feeding...


A first-time mother was allegedly asked to leave the Granville RSL for breastfeeding her son in a lounge at the club.

Yimei Chan was dining in the RSL's restaurant with her parents-in-law and two-month-old son, Chilam, when the baby needed a feed. She tried to feed Chilam at the table but he was crying, so, worried that she was disturbing other diners, she took him to the lounge area, near the club's entrance, to feed.

Mrs Chan's husband, Andy, said a staff member came and asked his wife to leave.

''They said, 'You cannot breastfeed here.' My wife said, 'Where else can I go?' and they responded, 'You will have to leave.' ''

Mr Chan said his wife was quite upset about the incident. ''It was the first time she had tried to breastfeed outside the home. She felt quite embarrassed at being kicked out.''

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If breast-feeding was more commonly hailed than making war, we, humans, might learn something...


women's quota...


The Liberal Party should introduce mandatory quotas for women to help boost the number of females in parliament, according to a long-serving Federal Government MP.

Victorian Liberal backbencher Sharman Stone has suggested her colleagues should look to Labor for ideas about how to get more women into politics.

The Labor Party has long had a quota system in place, although it has not yet achieved its target of getting women into 40 per cent of its seats.

"I'm beginning to think very seriously that really the Liberal Party, we have to do more," Dr Stone told Saturday AM.

Dr Stone says she was very disappointed to see her Liberal colleagues recently dump Mary Wooldridge from the safe Victorian state seat of Kew.


When a "Liberal" (CONservative) political party and a country like Australia has a MALE (Tony Abbott) as the minister for women's affairs, one knows that we're in SERIOUS trouble... Quota is not a dirty word and it is the only mechanism to fight misogyny, old boys networks and private school ties that are on the selection committees of "Liberal" (CONservative) political candidates (as long as they're MALE).

Happy International Women's Day...


more on quota...

Sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick says the lack of women in Parliament has a direct impact on major issues affecting women.

"We absolutely need power to be shared in the Parliament between men and women," she told ABC local radio.

Her comments come after Liberal Party backbencher Sharman Stone said the party should introduce mandatory quotas to boost the number of women in Parliament.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been criticised for only having one woman in his cabinet, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

The Labor party has long had a quota system in place but is yet to achieve its target of women in 40 per cent of seats.

Dr Stone has suggested the Liberals look to Labor for ideas about how to get women into politics.

"We've got to be, I think, much more structured about making sure women come through," Dr Stone said.

"I don't care about that 'tokenism' label; bring it on if you must."



Don't forget that our Primal Minister disguised himself as a sheila to boost the numbers...

sad women's day for some...


About two dozen Iraqi women have demonstrated in Baghdad against a draft law approved by the Iraqi cabinet that would permit the marriage of nine-year-old girls and automatically give child custody to fathers.

The group's protest was on International Women's Day on Saturday (local time) and a week after the cabinet voted for the legislation, based on Shiite Islamic jurisprudence, allowing clergy to preside over marriages, divorces and inheritances.

The draft law would also condone a husband's right to insist on sexual intercourse with his wife whenever he wishes.

The draft now goes to parliament.

"On this day of women, women of Iraq are in mourning," the protesters shouted.

"We believe that this is a crime against humanity," said Hanaa Eduar, a prominent Iraqi human rights activist.

"It would deprive a girl of her right to live a normal childhood."

The United Nations's representative to Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, also condemned the legislation.

Mr Mladenov wrote on Twitter the bill "risks constitutionally protected rights for women and international commitment".

The legislation goes to the heart of the divisions in Iraq since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003, as Shiite Islamists have come to lead the government and look to impose their religious values on society at large.

It describes girls as reaching puberty at nine, making them fit for marriage and makes the father sole guardian of his children at two.

The legislation is referred to as the Ja'afari Law, named after the sixth Shiite imam Ja'afar al-Sadiq, who founded his own school of jurisprudence.


And to think that "we" are responsible for this through the actions of Blair, Bush and Howard is revolting. These monkeys should not be allowed to sleep straight at night after their crooked war on this country eleven years ago...

Imbecilism of the greatest order. 

See also: of blasphemy...



Too many women ignore their own misogyny...

Too many women ignore their own misogyny

CHICAGO — Citing Merriam-Webster lexicographers who noticed their online dictionary searches for the word “misogyny” skyrocketed in the wake of the mass killing in Isla Vista, Calif., The Wall Street Journal’s language columnist Ben Zimmer recently wondered if it’s time to redefine the word “misogynist.”

After the rampage, Zimmer noted, opinionators rushed to dissect the usage and nature of misogyny. While some dictionaries consider the word to accurately mean “dislike of” or “prejudice against” women, Merriam-Webster defines “misogyny” as “a hatred of women” and editors there said “hatred” is “broad enough to encompass everything from feelings of dislike to entrenched prejudice and hostility.”

Don’t hold your breath for consensus on one all-inclusive definition. Those stung by wrongdoing are nothing if not loyal to their favorite version of a victimhood label. This is less a criticism and more an acknowledgment of a human coping mechanism.

As in the debate over guns, none of us can truly move the needle on how we treat those suspected of mental illness, or how we acknowledge an entire culture’s mistreatment or fear of a particular gender. So we are forced to litigate our nomenclatural preferences in order to process the chaos we feel when another bit of the social fabric is shredded.

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as beautiful as a lego brick...


When I was a kid, Lego had nothing to do with gender and everyone played with the same bricks. Times have changed. In 2012, the manufacturer came up with what it called "Lego friends", aimed specifically at girls. The sets play up to almost every female stereotype, with lots of pink, handbags aplenty and oodles of lipstick for its denizens. What made it even more depressing was that the company claimed it was the result of extensive research into what would tempt young girls to play with Lego. Their answer was fundamentally defeatist, because it was "turn Lego into something else".

But all hope was not lost. This week, Lego announced the latest winner of its "Lego ideas" competition: a set of female scientists. The idea was dreamed up by Dr Ellen Kooijman and the new line will go into production this summer. There's a palaeontologist, an astronomer and a chemist, with a very cool dinosaur skeleton and other props. That's progress, surely? Even if, in 2014, we should be miles beyond that sort of progress.


Gus: when I was a kid, the only "bricks" we had to play with, were wood offcuts from Oppa Adolph's workshop... It was a dim place, full of sawdust and big dangerous machines he had built himself, driven with belts from a single engine that had seen the war (1914 that is)... Imagination did the rest, no bright colours but our "brick" castles were brimming with colourful life... The girls then stayed upstairs and played with the rag dolls always smelling of camphor and naphtalene... The dusty workshop, possibly full of rats, spiders and crawlies, stood by the side of the garage and was only lit by a tiny oberlicht...


kim kardashian is of “no help” in changing attitudes...

Germaine Greer has argued that modern feminism is “ageist” in a panel discussion to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Regarded as a prominent feminist voice of the mid-20th century, the 76-year-old academic criticised what she sees as a focus on young women at the Sydney Opera House event on Sunday.

“Give me the right to grow up, let me age,” she said, according to the Guardian. “In our society, elder women have no respect.”

Greer went on to accuse Australia’s current Abbott Government of attacking pensioners and stripping people in residential aged care of their civil rights.

“They are incarcerated and they have committed no crime,” she said, adding that women working in the elderly care sector were drastically underpaid and only doing the job “out of mercy”.

Greer emphasised that there was “heaps” more pressure on women to conform to society’s physical and behavioural standards today than when she wrote The Female Eunuch in 1970, and shamed Kim Kardashian as being of “no help” in changing attitudes.

Greer also voiced her concern over gender equality being such a major goal in modern feminism. “Everyone thinks they understand [equality] but no one understands it…it’s an illusory goal,” she said, drawing on the pay gap that remains alive and kicking.

“I’m a liberation feminist, not an equality feminist. Equality is a profoundly conservative aim and it won’t achieve anything.”

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the bitches hate feminism...


Naomi Fryers examines the rise of Men’s Rights Activism along with the role of patriarchal megaphones like Miranda Devine and other self-deprecating sisters.

PROBABLY ALWAYS having existed in a dark corner of the world, the Internet has now given rise to a new kind of woman’s voice, the self-deprecating sisters. Their concerning patriarchal messages are now readily available for consumption by the masses, thanks to both social and mainstream media.

This week, Daily Telegraph columnist Miranda Devine suggested that our conservative Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had drunk 'the feminist Kool-Aid' as he offered up one hundred million dollars to help combat the current national crisis that is domestic violence. The article further suggested that the PM had somehow demonised men by way of suggestion that women needed respect in society.

Devine’s vitriolic column further asserted that domestic violence was an issue primarily impacting the “underclass” like Indigenous communities and public housing estates and accused feminists and government of disempowering men. (Only white middle to upper class men were truly denied a slapping in the piece).

If it stopped there and wasn’t published for mass consumption, it would read like great satire. However, it went on to suggest that the underlying narrative of a National Action Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022 aimed at preventing violence against women and children, was really all about disrespecting men.

@marquelawyers on Bolt & Devine attacking Rosie Batty & Adam Goodes. Read more at #vaw

— David Marler (@Qldaah) October 2, 2015

To my dismay, Miranda Devine is not the only woman I know to believe this assertion with fervour. One such example is Jasmin Newman, who is not related to Troy Newman … that we know of.

Jasmin Newman is a blogger at ‘Relating to Men’, ‘coach’ (read: credentials unclear) and self-proclaimed men’s right’s activist (MRA) who I stumbled across in the blogosphere.

Newman also reports having a girl crush on Miranda Devine and doesn’t believe violence is gendered. She also has a loyal (mainly male but almost cult like) following. In 2014, she made an untimely and controversial comment on a child sex abuse case that “healing can only occur through compassion.”

Newman is anti-feminist and complains of feminists trolling her pages. But that doesn’t stop scores of men commenting on her every self-deprecating post about everything she-devil including how women are our own worst enemies. Though the question may be put: With “friends” like Jasmin, what woman needs enemies?

@FlatEarthGang jasmin Newman is extremely unpleasant when it comes to rosy, she hates most women!

— AllyA (@amajdandzic1) September 28, 2015

Newman doesn’t think we need feminism and the fact that Facebook shows that the Men’s Rights Activism Universe (MRA) Facebook page has over 1700 members, we find quite unnerving. Because it’s just not nearly enough that the patriarchy has the rest of the world to dominate, right?

So here’s our top three picks for the week on why the sisterhood needs to exist with or without the Newman and Devine ilk.

Firstly, within days of the PM announcing extra funding, a woman was heinously and publically assaulted at an AFL match by a man for attempting to protect her children. The dialogue and social media commentary that ensued by other men (read: the boys club) suggested she was implicit by way of being “feral.”

Secondly, The Huffington Post alerted us to another MRA group this week, which if satirical and not quite so offensive would be ingenious. The group of men who are searching for, ‘beautiful virgin brides’ bares the Facebook slogan ‘No Hymen, No Diamond’ and has some two thousand members attached. The irony is that no self-respecting woman would want a bar of the likes of the guy who wrote:

“the only reason girls can behave like sluts is because the majority of men today are dickless bitches who put up with it. If men didn’t tolerate slutty behaviour, there would be no slutty behaviour.”


“We just want a woman that hasn’t ridden the cock carousel. Is that really too much to ask in return?”

'No hymen no diamond': Twitter mocks men who will only marry virgins via @Femail

— Michelle (@mich_h) October 1, 2015

Thirdly, the likes of anti-choice campaigner and extremist, Troy Newman, are attempting to bring their hate speech into Australia and dictate what decisions, if any, women have over their own bodies and reproductive organs, to the point that is of requiring government intervention.

While blatant examples of women under attack still exist, there is more than enough room for feminist dialogue and activism.

Miranda Devine’s domestic violence victim-blaming and assertion that Malcolm Turnbull has been drinking the feminist Kool-Aid is an interesting one. But the real questions remain of the self-deprecating women involved in MRA is, why are you ladies (term applied loosely) drinking the patriarchal hater-aid?

You can follow Naomi on Twitter @Fluro_Unicorn.

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feminism is not a clique...


My heart breaks for every one of these girls, not only because of the misogyny and economic disparity that will keep them in these circumstances, but also because their Australian sisters are scoffing at their exploitation over bottles of Merlot and Wagyu steaks in chic inner-city bars, all while congratulating themselves for being staunch advocates of women's rights.

What I've learnt is that Australian feminism is not so much a sisterhood as it is a mean girls' clique. The mainstay of liberal feminism moves around circles where it's suave to discuss "high class escorting," where porn is merely an element of women's freedom, where it's acceptable to publicly malign campaigns and joke about women as "c--ts," and yet it's somehow unacceptable to make the most vulnerable women and girls a priority.

While many people may be uninformed or unaware of the modus operandi of the sex trade, liberal feminists claim to be better informed and yet they use this information to undermine women in poverty. I've come to realise that if anyone couldn't care less about the countless Asian girls being exploited at home and abroad, it is Australian feminists.

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Gus: I must say I have not yet met the type of feminists as described by Laura McNally, here. It looks as if she went searching for those who pretend to be femmes and stuck a general label on all females and males who support feminism in Australia. She also quoted some weird Human Right Watch rumbles as if these represented Feminism in Australia. 

We know that misogyny, economic disparity and poverty in many countries are major problems. I have not seen anyone genuine, male or female, scoff at this in Australia. It's possible that some so-called feminists gather in chi-chi cliques, but it would be more the exception or the rare occasion than the norm. 

The most ardent feminist I could mention is Julia Gillard who is now trying hard to promote education for girls and women, on the international stage. Education would be a step in reducing the rate of sexploitation. Good luck to her... She got hit for six by a ruthless Aussie media and some misogynist political opponents, because she tried to save the planet with a carbon tax. She would know the hurdles and the difficulties to promote education in countries where it's not traditional for women to be educated. There are many obstacles to changing perceptions, including local customs, and exploitation by white men from abroad, providing cash to a poor economy. 

One can try very hard to change social systems in other countries but often it is very difficult due to "cultural" sensitivities — a change of which could involve massive revolution and uprising. As we know revolutions are rarely for the immediate best and evolution in change takes time, due to generative differentials. 

All the feminists I know care and try to do all they can to improve the situation and make people aware of the problem, including shaming exploitative white men. 

It's not a good look for Sally to try to demonise Australian feminists, in order to promote her own worth. On a whole, Australian feminists are doing a darn good job against exploitation at all level — and some feminists I know were involve very early in family planning that would provide equity for women, when it was regarded as destroying the rights of men. There are still too many white men in politics who think women are inferior. 

Feminists today have to fight a sleepy misrepresentative media that profits from "travel" advertising to country where sexploitation of girls is rampant. They have to fight political parties that are in favour of glass ceilings and boys clubs. They have to fight bad social policies that treat women like second class — unless they can be hero mums, hero worker and hero femme at once. Actually, it has been my humble observation that some of these "super-mums" are the least feminist of the lot and end up thinking if "they" can do it in a crummy social structure, all the other femmes can cut the mustard as well. These hero-mums end up at the extreme right of the political spectrum and have no time for those who can't cut it.

It has also been my observation, that some of the "sisters", those who have reached a certain high level of incompetence also decry the processes of social equality and quotas for women because they resent other women who could do better than them.

The situations are varied and complex and there is nothing wrong with feminists enjoying a glass of Chardonnay or Merlot. But Sally is highly unfair in her representation. Australian feminists are not scoffing at the exploitation of other women in Asian countries. Many Australian feminists work behind the scene to help out against such exploitation, but having your heart breaking for every women in an exploitative situation is not going to change the situation. It needs an evolution of minds, that also involves changes of traditions and local customs, as well as breaking down exploitative gangs and systemic constructs that go up to some government corruption. It needs education and helping people break the poverty cycle. 

If you can do this, do it. But don't expect that there will be no resistance against the change for the better. There will be opposition, and some dangerous opposition. It can be done though, carefully, trying to avoid walking on big toes.


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If Emmeline Pankhurst were alive today her message to women would be simple: “Don’t give up the fight. It’s not over,” Meryl Streep said last night.

The actor, who plays Pankhurst in the film Suffragette, told a packed audience at the star-studded opening night of London’s first Women in the World event, that while women had come far since getting the vote, there was still plenty of work to do.

“We are coming up from the bottom, but it’s that upper echelon that we haven’t broken through,” she said, urging the audience to remember that “women’s issues are men’s problems”.

Suffragette’s director, Sarah Gavron, revealed that finding funding for the film was a challenge, adding that it was also difficult to find actors to fill the male roles. “We had trouble persuading men to be in it. Agents were calling us saying the male parts just aren’t big enough,” she said to laughter and cheers.

The first night of a two-day event which will feature the home secretary, Theresa May, and Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, as well as Nicole Kidman and Tor Pekai Yousafzai, mother of Malala, saw discussion of subjects as diverse as the refugee crisis, the brutality of Isis and shared parental leave.

women in sciences day...


In Focus: International Day of Women and Girls in Science


In Focus: International Day of Women and Girls in Science 



On 11 February, the United Nations, partners worldwide, women and girls marked the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Why does it matter? 



Recent studies suggest that 65 per cent of children entering primary school today will have jobs that do not yet exist. While more girls are attending school than before, girls are significantly under-represented in STEM subjects in many settings and they appear to lose interest in STEM subjects as they reach adolescence. Debunking the myths that girls do not like the sciences and other and gender stereotypes, along with investment in teacher trainings, gender-responsive technology and innovation can reverse these trends. 

With Sustainable Development Goal 9, part of the Global Goals that world leaders agreed to in 2015 with a deadline of 2030, countries around the world have pledged to “build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”. Yet, a look at where funding is allocated a different picture. At present, only 1.7 per cent of the global GDP is dedicated for research and experimental development 


As the fourth industrial revolution starts, women still have less than two-third of the economic opportunity that men have. The jobs of the future will be driven by technology and innovation, and if the gender divide in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is not bridged soon, the overall gender gap is likely to widen. 


Less than 30 per cent of researchers worldwide are women. With too few women in decision making roles and higher-paying STEM jobs, the gender gap in STEM has deep implications for the future of global economy. For instance, women stand to gain only one new STEM job for every 20 lost, in stark contrast to men, who gain one new STEM job for every four lost. Improved recruitment, retention and promotion policies, as well as continuous learning and up-skilling for women can go a long way towards closing this gap. 


On International Day of Women and Girls in Science, lets change this narrative. Join us in celebrating women and girls who are leading innovation and call for actions to remove all barriers that hold them back. 



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CNN goes gender cervical...

CNN: Individuals with a cervix are now recommended to start cervical cancers screening at 25 and continue through age 65, with HPV testing every five years as the preferred method of testing, according to a new guideline released by the American Cancer Society.



female figures on traffic signal lights...

New Delhi (Sputnik): The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has listed “gender equality” as one of its goals to achieve in terms of global development in the coming years. It aims to end all discrimination against women and acknowledge females for their presence and achievements, for which India’s Mumbai has done something special.

India’s tinsel town Mumbai has begun rolling out female figures on lights to indicate traffic signals in the city. Until now, the light glowed as a male figurine.

Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Aditya Thackeray recently took to Twitter to share visuals from the new traffic light lightning up Mumbai’s Dadar area.

He also posted pictures of new road signboards showing female icons, calling it a thoughtful way of showing gender equality with a simple idea.




May be the lights should show more... See :


uczenie dzieci teorii płci...





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a painful research ...

A widely criticised peer-reviewed study that measured the attractiveness of women with endometriosis has been retracted from the medical journal Fertility and Sterility.

The study, Attractiveness of women with rectovaginal endometriosis: a case-control study, was first published in 2013 and has been defended by the authors and the journal in the intervening years despite heavy criticism from doctors, other researchers and people with endometriosis for its ethical concerns and dubious justifications, with one advocate calling the study “heartbreaking” and “disgusting”.

The study’s conclusion was: “Women with rectovaginal endometriosis were judged to be more attractive than those in the two control groups. Moreover, they had a leaner silhouette, larger breasts, and an earlier coitarche.” Coitarche is the age at first sexual intercourse.

Rectovaginal endometriosis is a severe form of the disease in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus – called endometrium – grows outside the uterus, often attaching to other organs and causing pain, scarring and sometimes infertility. One in 10 women and other people with a uterus of reproductive age have the disease.

The women taking in part in the study had not given their consent to be judged for their attractiveness and did not know this was happening as part of their medical consultations. The study received ethics approval and was publicly funded by the University of Milan school of medicine. The authors asked the women about their sexual history and measured their body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio and breast-to-underbreast ratio. Only Caucasian women were selected for inclusion in the study.

Authors have defended the study, saying that knowing if certain phenotypes – or bodily characteristics – were more susceptible to severe endometriosis would be useful. The lead researcher, Dr Paolo Vercellini, an obstetrician and gynaecologist at Universita degli Studi in Milan and past president of the World Endometriosis Society, said: “Several researchers believe that a general phenotype exists which is associated with the disease.”

But critics, including American gynaecologist Dr Jennifer Gunter, have pointed out that while characteristics such as body mass index may be relevant to endometriosis severity, this is not what the study actually measured. She wrote at the time: “I fail to understand how a small group of Italian doctors rating attractiveness of women with different stages of endometriosis contributes anything to medical science.

“Fertility Sterility should be ashamed they accepted it for publication,” she wrote, adding: “Objectifying women has no place in medicine. It is even more horrifying that such a publication comes from a department on OB/GYN.”

The journal did not issue an apology but published a letter from the authorson Tuesday requesting the article be withdrawn.

“We conducted the study in good faith and according to correct methodology. We believe that our findings have been partly misinterpreted, but at the same time realize that the article may have caused distress to some people. Women’s respect is a priority for us, and we are extremely sorry for the discontent the publication originated,” the authors stated.

Dr Rebecca Szabo, an Australian obstetrician and gynaecologist and academic at the University of Melbourne, has been campaigning for an apology for this study for seven years. She told the Guardian she was “shocked” it had been retracted after the journal had defended it for so long but worried that by retracting it, the lessons from it would be lost.

“This non-apology, this retraction, seven years after many people had written to … [the authors and editors], with no comments from the editor, I think is cowardly.”

Szabo said she was disappointed the editorial board of Fertility and Sterility had not issued an apology or provided a justification of why they did not retract it earlier. She said there were systemic and cultural issues within healthcare and medicine that has led to studies like this one being conceived and published.

“The question is: how is it possible that [this study was] conceived? It was 2012, not 1912. 

“This is a really significant journal and it’s a journal that primarily goes towards women’s health.”

She added that the time taken to retract the study is the average time it takes to be diagnosed with endometriosis.

Dr Kate Young, a public health researcher at Queensland University of Technology whose previous work has focused endometriosis, has been instrumental in bringing this study to the public’s attention. She said it was an example of studies that get published but do not actually help women and other people with the condition.

“That paper is a really good example of what happens when we do research about women but not for them. And that’s partly a reflection of the patriarchal society that we live in and also the way we’ve structured research and research funding.

“We really need better systems in place that come from the bottom up. We need research to be influenced by the people who it is for.”

Sylvia Freedman, co-founder of the patient advocacy group EndoActive, said she was glad the study had finally been retracted.

“When I first read the study and saw it was by Vercellini, I thought I must be reading it wrong, since he is such a powerful and respected endometriosis specialist. But it would appear that time, money and energy has been put into a study trying to draw a connection between rectovaginal endometriosis and the way a woman looks, from the perspective of others.

“It’s disgusting, it makes me sick. We’re here begging for research funds. Endometriosis is so grossly underfunded globally compared with what it costs the economy, and to know precious money has been put to a study like this is heartbreaking.”

A 2019 study for EndoActive by ErnstYoung found that endometriosis costs the Australian economy $7.4bn annually. In 2018 and 2019, $15m was announced by the Australian government for endometriosis research funding as part of the national action plan for endometriosis.

Lesley Freeman, fellow co-founder of EndoActive, told the Guardian: ‘‘When I read the title of this paper, I felt physically ill … And it’s taken eight years for this disgusting paper to be retracted?”

Last week, a study that was published in the Journal of Vascular Surgery that looked at the “prevalence of unprofessional social media content among young vascular surgeons” was retracted after criticism that it was sexist in its methodology and conclusions. The authors and journal issued an apology.


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