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feminist news round-up 12.11.15



Breast Cancer Patient Warns of Private Health Insurance
Brisbane woman Michelle Hennessy contracted breast cancer after having top-level private health insurance with extras for 20 years, and was still forced to pay over $20,000 for her treatment. She is now warning unsuspecting Australians to check the fine print of their plans for coverage levels. Health Minister Sussan Ley has promised to look into the issue, launching an online survey for voters.

Female New Zealand MPs thrown out of parliament for revealing sexual assault
Several female New Zealand MPs were kicked out of Parliament, after taking offence to Prime Minister John Key’s comments that referred to detainees on Christmas Island as rapists and murderers. His claim that Green and Labour MPs were ‘backing the rapists’ was followed by a number of female MPs from those parties asking Key to withdraw his comments as they had themselves been victims of sexual assault and found the comments offensive. Speaker of the House David Carter then had them removed after warning them that they were ‘flouting the rules’, but later claimed that he had not heard the PM’s initial comments.

University of Missouri professor’s email brushing off black student’s safety concerns goes viral
University of Missouri professor Dale Brigham has offered his resignation after an email that he sent telling a black female student to come to class for a test despite safety concerns was posted on the Internet. An anonymous user on the app YikYak threatened to ‘shoot every black person I see’ on campus, leading to students asking the professor to reschedule the test as they felt unsafe. Brigham’s response was that the test would run as normal.

Academic promises to donate $1 to charity for every hate tweet
Australian academic Dr Susan Carland, wife of political commentator Waleed Aly, has promised to donate $1 to UNICEF for every hate tweet that she receives. She admits that she’s concerned that it will slowly send her broke, as she has already donated over $1000 in two weeks, but wants to highlight the experience of Twitter for women and Muslims.

Passengers Share Tales of #YourTaxis Woes in Twitter Backlash
Victorian taxi organisation Your Taxis’ Twitter hashtag has backfired, with passengers swarming the tag to tell of their horror stories. In particular, women have highlighted their experiences of sexual harassment from taxi drivers and being refused service at night due to their fares being too short.

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