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feminist news round-up 24.12.15

Image: Daniel Lobo

Image: Daniel Lobo


A look back at the sexism of 2015
Feminist writer and commentator Van Badham looks back on the year that was in sexist and misogynistic behaviour in science, the entertainment industry, sport, the list goes on and on. However, the article also gives some hope when you remember those who stood up for women’s rights in 2015.

Immigration department rejects visa application, then reverses decision for family of dying student
After public petitions and pleas from the Melbourne City Mission, the Immigration Department has granted a visa to the mother and brother of a dying Pakistani student living in Melbourne. The family of Hassan Asif’s initial application was rejected by the Australian government. It was only minutes after Immigration Minister Peter Dutton concluded a press conference defending the rejection, that the department reversed the decision.

Women’s Big Bash League attracting TV viewership
The inaugural Women’s Big Bash League is already hitting sixes after its opening game last week, beating its internal projections of TV ratings for the games. Saturday’s game between the Adelaide Strikers and Brisbane Heat attracted an average national audience of 250,000 on the One HD channel. Ten’s head of sport David Barham noted that the channel was using the same amount of cameras and high quality coverage for the WBBL as the men’s league.

Texas cuts HIV prevention funding
The U.S. state of Texas already cut Planned Parenthood’s funding for Medicaid months ago, but now the government has taken it a step further by defunding its HIV prevention clinics. Local newspaper the Tribune reports that, since last year, the government grant had funded more than 138,000 HIV tests, which had helped to diagnose 1,182 people with HIV. A spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood noted that she feared that no other organisation would be able to fill this gap in the domain of HIV prevention.

‘7 ways Hillary Clinton is just like your abuela’: Clinton’s bizarre post
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has been criticised on Twitter for an online post designed to appeal to young, Latin voters. The post, which is complete with GIFs, compares Clinton with your grandmother (or ‘abuela’ in Spanish). For example, she’s not afraid to ‘talk about the importance of el respeto’. Twitter responded with the hashtag #NotMyAbuela, criticising Clinton’s ‘hispandering’ and calling the post ‘out of touch’.

Criticism of female lead of The Force Awakens ignores double standards
Critics have been deriding the lead of The Force Awakens, Rey (Daisy Ridley), as a ‘Mary Sue’ character, due to her strength and abilities as a pilot and mechanic. Salon’s Nico Lang calls this ‘another excuse to leave women on the cutting room floor’. Nico Lang’s piece for Salon questions why we don’t bat an eyelid when male characters such as James Bond are presented as ‘perfect’, yet there is criticism and questions when a woman is similarly depicted.

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