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feminist news round-up 29.01.12

high heels

The dangers of high heels: study

Three male scientists who study the biomechanics of walking at the Musculoskeletal Research Program at Griffith University in Queensland, ‘began to consider what might be happening at the muscle and tendon level’ of women who wear high heels. The scientists recruited 9 young women who had worn high heels for at least 40 hours per week for a minimum of two years, and 10 young women who rarely, if ever, wore heels.  As suspected, they found that the women habituated to wearing high heels walked differently to those who usually wore flats, even when the heel wearers went barefoot. Interesting, but what does it all mean? Read more here.

Cynthia Nixon: Gay is a choice

Actress Cynthia Nixon has worried gay rights groups over her remarks earlier in the week that she is “gay by choice”. The former Sex and the City star, who is engaged to her long-time partner, Christine Marioni, touched on her decision to become a lesbian during an ‘empowerment’ speech to a gay audience, which all but angered the LGBT community. In a recent interview with the NY Times she said: ‘I gave a speech recently, an empowerment speech to a gay audience, and it included the line “I’ve been gay and I’ve been straight and gay is better”. And they tried to get me to change it because they said it implies that homosexuality can be a choice. And for me, it is a choice. I understand that for many people it’s not, but for me it’s a choice and you don’t get to define my gayness for me.’ Nixon was previously in a relationship with Danny Mozes, with whom she has two children, and since her chat with the NY Times has admitted she is bisexual but does not like the term because ‘nobody likes the bisexuals; everybody likes to dump on the bisexuals.’ What do you think about her comments? Read more here.

Women with breast cancer lack knowledge of disease

According to a new study, women with early-stage breast cancer lack the vital information necessary to make informed decisions about their treatment—mastectomy versus partial mastectomy—and surgeons don’t always ask them of their preferences. Clara N. Lee, an associate professor and director of surgical research at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, who led the study, said: ‘This finding was concerning because patients who opt for partial mastectomy need to be aware of their slightly higher risk of local recurrence.’ Other findings showed that the average score for knowledge about breast cancer was 52.7 percent, and less than half of the women knew that local recurrence risk of cancer is higher after breast sparing surgery. The study involved 440 women who had been treated for early-stage breast cancer at one of four academic medical centres in the United States.  Read more here.

US Soldiers Committing More Sex Crimes

According to a report released earlier in the month, violent sex crimes committed by U.S Army soldiers have almost doubled over the past five years. In 2011, over 2,800 violent sex crimes were reported – a number the Army expects will continue to grow. The reasons, according to the report, include lax discipline, post-combat adrenaline, high levels of stress and behavioural health issues. The report also said that soldiers with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are three times more likely to be aggressive with their female partners than those without such trauma. Sound like an excuse to you? Read more here.

Women strong symbol for non-violence

Thailand’s Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, told a gathering at the World Economic Forum that women can be a strong symbol for non-violence and will play a role in bringing political reconciliation in Thailand. She underscored the importance of education and access to finance for women, and told the gathering that her government has set up a fund to support women and to promote universal education for girls because women, when given the chance to become leaders, can make a positive contribution to society. Read more here.

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