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feminist news round-up 05.08.12

Pussy Riot Punished by God

We’ve previously covered some of the protests and the subsequent imprisonment of Russian feminist punk rock band, Pussy Riot. It now seems likely that Pussy Riot may be the undoing of Putin, or will at least be a memorable aspect of his rule. They currently face up to seven years’ jail for an anti-religious, anti-Putin protest concert. This week, a Russian church leader has claimed that God is judging and punishing them for their ‘crimes’. ‘It was a sin against God and it is God that is judging it,’ Vsevolod Chaplin, a high-ranking priest who often acts as the church’s spokesman, said. ‘And all Christians should know this.’ The band members of Pussy Riot are in the midst of a trial which will decide how much longer they will be imprisoned.

Katy Perry Slammed for Raunchy Videos

Stand-up comedian Sarah Kendall has hit out at Katy Perry’s music videos as being ‘full of phallic symbolism’ at the Edinburgh Festival. She said, ‘Little girls are obsessed with Katy Perry. Her videos are full of phallic symbolism; liquid shooting out of tubes, lollipops, hairbrushes by the mouth. It all looks very BJ.’ The criticism comes as Perry has scored her ninth number one in the top 40 count-down, tying her with Rihanna for the record.

You can decide for yourself if you think Perry’s videos are raunchy:

Gender Verification Rules at the London Olympics

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has instated a new rule which says that women who have high levels of testosterone will have to undergo invasive gender testing. The change comes after a South African middle-distance runner, Caster Semenya, has had to endure over eleven months of gender testing in order to be confirmed a ‘woman’. The new rules would subject Semenya to further testing. The issue highlights how determining sex can in fact be complicated. LGBT activist group has responded by launching an online campaign against the gender guidelines. ‘Biology and humans are much more diverse than we would ever guess – what makes someone a man or a woman can’t be identified in a single test or using a single measurement,’ Andre Banks, director of, said in a statement.

Mayor Wants to Hide Baby Formula

New York Mayor, Bloomburg, is pushing hospitals to hide their baby formula behind locked doors so more new mothers will breast-feed. Starting September 3, the city will keep tabs on the number of bottles that participating hospitals stock and use — the most restrictive pro-breast-milk program in the US. While the health benefits of breast milk over formula are scientifically supported, the move raises the issue of paternalism, and ultimately, the policing of women and their bodies. Further, the formula is a safe option and has been approved by the American Food and Drugs Association.

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