feminist news round-up 08.10.12
Tony Abbott is a feminist now
There are numerous politicians who call themselves “feminists” as a trick to pretend that their bizarre beliefs are pro-woman. Sarah Palin, for instance. Joining their ranks is Tony Abbott, who despite thinking that virginity is a girl’s ‘greatest gift’, proved once and for all that he is a feminist because he brought his wife on TV and she says that he cries at movies and that they kayak together. As equals. This was covered by lip earlier this week.
Women disappear in Ikea catalogue
We thought that the maze that is the physical Ikea store would be the cause of numerous disappearances, but apparently women are starting to vanish from the catalogues. The Saudi Arabian Ikea catalogue is the same as any other catalogue, except they Photoshopped out every woman who appeared inside. This is embarrassing for a brand with progressive politics such as Ikea, and Ikea HQ condemned the move. Meanwhile, the gaff has become an internet meme sensation.
Who’d have thunk it? Free birth control means fewer abortions
The Obama administration has enshrined the availability of free birth control in policy. The policy has garnered some political clout recently when a study discovered that birth control leads to fewer abortions. The project tracked more than 9000 women in St. Louis, many of them poor or uninsured. The program led to dramatically lower rates of abortions and teen births. When price wasn’t an issue, women flocked to the most effective contraceptives – the implanted options, which typically cost hundreds of dollars up-front to insert. The study reports these women experienced far fewer unintended pregnancies. Mind blown.
Yet, Employers can fire you for using birth control
In March of this year, legislation in the US state of Arizona was passed which meant that employers were allowed to fire workers who use the pill. In most cases, the pill is covered on company insurance, meaning that the company has access to this medical information. If the company objects to its use on religious grounds, the worker would have to prove they are using the pill out of medical necessity, not to stop themselves from having babies (apparently contraception isn’t a necessity?). Anyway, the decision is back in the spotlight now as numerous groups have publicly condemned the law. You can see a collection of official comments here.
Victorian Women beating breast cancer in record numbers
A high for five-year survival rates brings breast cancer into the top four most beatable cancers for women in the state of Victoria. A new report by Cancer Council Victoria shows that while breast cancer is still the most common cancer for women, 89 per cent are now still alive five years after diagnosis compared with 73 per cent between 1986 and 1990. The survival rate for all cancers in Victoria has reached a record high, with the five-year survival at 65 per cent – up from 47 per cent 20 years ago. The Cancer Council attributes this great result to early cancer screening. This is good news during October as it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Covered in brief
This week we also learned that it’s not the number of women in politics or the influence of progressive political parties that lowers rates of violence against women. The most important factor is the existence of strong feminist movements. We’ll keep that little factoid on hold for the next time someone naïvely proclaims that ‘feminism has failed’ [opens to YouTube].
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