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feminist news round-up 08.04.12

Stalker App Pulled

Blogger John Brownlee posted an article a few weeks ago warning women of the potential dangers of technology and stalking. An app called ‘Girls Around Me’ uses publically available facebook and foursquare information in order to show the users who is geographically close to them. To make it even more scary, the app only features females in the vicinity. Meant for fun, the app obviously has some very creepy applications. Brownlee wrote, ‘It is as much of a novelty as it has the potential to be used a tool for rapists and stalkers.’

This sparked public outrage and served as a reminder to all to use their privacy settings. The app has since been pulled. A spokesperson for Foursquare has stated that as the app abuses the terms by which foursquare data can be used, they were able to revoke the app’s use of data required for the app to work.

The company responsible for making the app, O.O.O. SMS Services, has defended itself, saying that it is impossible to use the app to search for specific people, and claims that other apps do similar things. Indeed, apps such as Friends Locator use geographical data to show you where your friends are.

Afghan women jailed for ‘moral crimes’

Increasingly in Afghanistan, women are being imprisoned for ‘crimes’ such as running away from home, escaping abuse, and adultery. Sentences can be several years long. In many cases, where women have acted to avoid abuse, they have been sentenced to jail while the abuser has faced no legal action. In some cases, the abuse comes from a husband they were forced to marry. Afghanistan is the only country which interprets sharia law to mean that women should not be allowed to leave the home without permission. As countries involved in fighting the war in Afghanistan gradually pull out, it has become increasingly important that the Afghan government looks to rebuild life in a positive way for all, including women.

Paying the Price for Beauty

UK columnist Samantha Brick has recently come under attack for her claims that people don’t like her because she’s beautiful. She reasons that the backlash merely proves her claim. She wrote in her column, ‘I’m tall, slim, blonde and, so I’m often told, a good-looking woman. I know how lucky I am. But there are downsides to being pretty – the main one being that other women hate me for no other reason than my lovely looks.’ She has since received criticism on facebook, twitter, and in the comments section of the Daily Mail website.

So is Brick just arrogant, or are women really horrible to their more attractive counterparts? The F-Word has a fantastic post about women being horrible to other women. This post from the Punch, in my opinion, falls on the side of arrogance.

Women Can Coach Men’s Soccer

In the world of British Soccer, Hope Powell, a coach, has said that there are a few women who have the right qualifications and skills to coach in the men’s English Premier League. Her comments came after former Northern Ireland boss Lawrie Sanchez said he thought there would be a top-flight female manager within the next decade. Both Powell and Sanchez would expect that a female couch (or manager) of a men’s team would face a great deal of scrutiny in the media and with fans.

Creator of Two and a Half Men Says Sexist Things

Big surprise, eh? The co-creator of Two and a Half Men, Lee Aronsohn, has made a number of offensive comments this week. Firstly that ‘women’s comedy’, including shows like Two Broke Girls, has passed its peak. He commented, ‘Enough, ladies, I get it. You have periods…But we’re approaching peak vagina on television, the point of labia saturation.’ He also said that women were responsible for ‘damaging’ men like the characters depicted on his show, commenting, ‘I never got my heart broken by a man.’ Aronsohn is married and has three children.

After a great deal of criticism on Twitter, he made a flippant apology saying, ‘Yes, yes – it was a stupid joke. I’m sorry.’

(Image source: 1)

One thought on “feminist news round-up 08.04.12

  1. Just to clarify a point, Girls Around Me defaulted to showing women, but there was an option to view men or to view all people around you.

    Doesn’t make it less creepy, but this is a common misconception.

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