feminist news round-up 08.07.12
Seventeen magazine makes pledge not to alter images
All it took was a bit of a push (and an online petition signed by 84,000 people) by a fourteen year old to get Seventeen to vow to use only unaltered images in its publication. As stated in its ‘Body Peace Treaty’ and accompanying note from Editor-in-chief Ann Shoket, the magazine will ‘celebrate every kind of beauty’ and only feature ‘real girls and models [that] are healthy’. And while the magazine maintains that this has always been the case, not everyone was convinced. The change.org petition read: ‘Those “pretty women” that we see in magazines are fake … They’re often Photoshopped, air=brushed, edited to look thinner and to appear like they have perfect skin. A girl you see in a magazine probably looks a lot different in real life.’
Ovary transplant breakthrough
A breakthrough in reproductive technology may see women postponing menopause and becoming mothers much later in life thanks to a technique that involves removing ovarian tissue, putting it “on ice”, and then transplanting it later. A conference in Istanbul was told that 28 babies had already been born to infertile women using the technology. Most of these children had been conceived naturally without the assistance of drugs or IVF. Possible health benefits of the treatment include a decreased risk of heart disease and osteoporosis, however, it may also raise the risk of breast and uterine cancer.
Woman sues airline because her husband must wash dishes
In January of 2011, an 8kg bag fell from the overhead compartment of a Virgin Airlines plane and onto Azadeh Langhai’s head just as she was settling into her seat. The accident has left her with ongoing neck, arm and hand pain that requires medication and physiotherapy. In a claim filed against the airline, Mrs Langhai is claiming $60,000 for pain, suffering and loss, $20,000 in special damages, travel and medical costs, $150,000 for future economic loss and $120,000 for future damages. Oh, but that’s not all. Since the incident, her husband has been forced to take over the household chores that she can no longer do, so she’s claiming upwards of $40,000 to compensate her husband (and son) for the time they spent doing the domestic duties. Because housework is women’s work, right?
Pussy Riot on Hunger Strike
Three members of the controversial Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot, who have been in prison for four months over a performance stunt in a Moscow cathedral, have announced a hunger strike after being told they must prepare their defence in only a few days. If found guilty of hooliganism, the trio faces up to seven years behind bars. The case has angered Moscow’s creative and cultural circles and over 100 Russian cultural figures have called for their release.
Civil unions ‘better than nothing’, says Malcolm Turnbull
Malcolm Turnbull is under fire for suggesting civil unions should be accepted as a first step towards full marriage rights. He questioned the religious grounds for opposition, instead stating: ‘We should not miss the opportunity to legislate for civil unions for same sex couples in the parliament.’ He recognised that the push may be ‘seen by many as not good enough’, but ‘it is a great mistake to allow your conception of the perfect to be the enemy of the good.’ Despite his detractors, which includes same sex marriage advocacy group Australian Marriage Equality, he went on to state that countries that legislated for civil unions initially then went on to support same sex marriage.
gay marriage challenge rejected in NY
A legal challenge to New York’s gay marriage laws, brought to the Appeals Court by an evangelical Christian group, has been thrown out. The group, known as New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, claimed that the lobbying that took place behind-the-scenes before the law passed was ‘improper’. The argument was adamantly rejected.