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Artificial Wombs and Pregnant Men
By Annalee Newitz, AlterNet. Posted June 6, 2006.
Feminists shouldn't back away from the debate on genetic engineering, or it'll be up to the men. Again.
I've been sorely disappointed by feminists' responses to genetic engineering. Like many life sciences, genetic engineering has its dark side -- but that's no excuse for groups like Gene Watch to claim that the feminist position on genetic engineering should be "Just say no." Why the hell shouldn't feminists seize the means of reproduction and turn them to our own best interests? Why shouldn't we be at the table when policymakers determine the best ways to regulate cloning, genetic engineering and new reproductive technologies?
The primary goal of a feminist genetic engineering project is to cut the reproductive process loose from patriarchy and male domination. One simple way to do that is to make sure feminist politics are front and center in any discussion about how we will use genetic engineering to eliminate harmful birth defects. I think we can all agree that it would be great to make sure babies aren't born with holes in their hearts, but what about girl babies born with small breasts? Can't you just see some clueless researcher claiming that women with small breasts are "harmed" psychologically, and that therefore we should engineer all women to have big ones? Feminists need to shut that shit down right away.
But what do we want? First of all, we want genetic engineering to transform the way families work, perhaps by making it possible for two women to create a baby without male intervention
World Cup to see rise in violence
Extra officers will be on standby to deal with domestic violence over the next month as police expect a dramatic rise in incidents during the world cup.
Hampshire Police said the "heightened emotions and increase in alcohol consumption during the World Cup" would cause a surge in calls.
Violence in the home "would never be tolerated", said a police spokeswoman.
"The additional officers will be responding promptly to reports of domestic abuse," she added.
Julie Young, public protection inspector, said: "Domestic abuse is often a hidden crime and we appreciate the courage of victims who take the step to report such abuse.
"Police in North and East Hampshire work closely with many local organisations to ensure that victims, abusers and their families receive the support they need."
Unmarried couples will have the right to make the same financial claims after a break-up as those who have gone through a marriage or civil partnership ceremony, under proposals to be unveiled today.
These could include rights to claim maintenance, lump sums, and a share of property and pensions. Gay couples who have not gone through a civil partnership ceremony would enjoy the same rights as unmarried heterosexual couples.
The recommendations from the government's law reform body, the Law Commission, are at the consultation stage, but have been drawn up at the request of the government, which has been promised a draft bill by summer 2007. They are likely to be criticised for undermining the unique status of marriage, and encouraging more couples to opt out.
The number of married men and women is predicted to fall below 50% of the population within five years, and by 2031 the number of couples cohabiting without marrying is expected to nearly double to 3.8 million.
At present a cohabitee can claim maintenance for the couple's children, not for herself. She may claim a share of property in her partner's name but has to use complicated and outdated trust law, making litigation prohibitively expensive for many.
Compensation payments to people wrongly convicted of crimes are to be slashed by a total of £5 million a year, the Home Secretary Charles Clarke said today.
Individual awards will be capped at £500,000 - the same as the maximum amount paid to victims of crime - compared with the previous highest payout of £2.1 million.
Mr Clarke announced a highly significant ministerial review of the legal test currently used by the Court of Appeal to quash criminal convictions.
It will examine to what extent an error in the trial process necessarily leads to a miscarriage of justice, said a Home Office spokesman.
Mr Clarke described the move as an "urgent review" which could lead to a change in the law.
A discretionary compensation scheme set up by the former home secretary Douglas Hurd in 1985 will be scrapped immediately, Mr Clarke said. That scheme paid out £2 million a year.
A statutory scheme which currently pays out £6 million a year will remain in force but a number of new limitations will be placed on claimants.
Mr Clarke said he planned to bring in new laws so that compensation could be reduced to zero because of previous criminal convictions or other conduct by the applicant.
Scrapping the discretionary scheme means people who have been wrongly convicted will not be able to apply for compensation if their cases have been quashed while going through the normal appeal process.
Instead they will have to sue for compensation through the civil courts.
Thousands of women will be given training and help finding a career under plans designed to help tackle the gender pay gap.
Gordon Brown said low-skilled women would be given help gaining careers in industries with a shortage of labour. He also said he would double the number of pilot coaching schemes in Jobcentres to help women back into work.
The announcement came a week after the Government-backed Women and Work Commission said women workers in Britain suffered one of the biggest pay gaps in Britain, representing 17 per cent of full-time staff and 38 per cent for part-timers.
The report warned that women were more likely to work in low-paid jobs and slip down the earnings ladder after having children.
Union leaders and equality groups welcomed the measures yesterday, but criticised the Chancellor for failing to do more to tackle inequalities within the workplace. They pointed to the Budget's failure to encourage workplace pay audits, which could root out pay differentials.
Mr Brown said the measures would offer "new help for working women who want a wider range of careers choices offering higher earnings" and help close the pay gap with men.
He said the increase in the national minimum wage to £5.35 an hour would help reduce the "unacceptable" discrepancy between men's and women's pay.
The measures include a major expansion of the Government's Train to Gain programme, which will offer employers subsidies to offer training for 175,000 low-skilled workers to gain GCSE-equivalent qualifications. New pilot schemes in three regions will extend the support to help workers gain skills equivalent to A-levels, while a separate scheme will aim to help 10,000 women by offering advice on training and skills in Jobcentre Plus offices.
Equality campaigners welcomed the Chancellor's announcements as a step in the right direction but warned much more needed to be done.
Brendan Barber, the general secretary of the TUC, said: "Measures to help low-skilled women into work in response to the Women and Work Commission are particularly welcome. A new pilot aimed at achieving level 3 qualifications for women with low skills, additional skills coaching pilots focusing on women and funding for Sector Skills Councils to develop new ways of recruiting and training low-skilled women into industries with skills shortages are helpful strategies to increase the opportunity for higher skills, higher pay and sustainable employment for women."
But he warned: "One of the Women and Work Commission's recommendations was for action on tackling pay discrimination in the public sector. If, as the Budget suggests, the Chancellor is to bear down on public sector pay, we are concerned at how the findings of the pay audits that have already happened and of those that are under way in the civil service, local government and the NHS are to be implemented."
Jenny Westaway, of the Fawcett Society, said: "We are in favour of training and increasing skills but we want to tackle the fact that some jobs are not paid well. We have to increase the value of women's work."
Jenny Watson, chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission, said: "The Chancellor's announcements on ... better training for low-skilled women are a welcome step in the right direction, but we need more investment in better careers information when young people make job choices."
March 15th, 2006 at 9:25 am
Also be prepared for the fact that if you, as a woman, become the "family breadwinner," you will also be treated as a symbolic male in court should you decide to divorce. You may lose custody of your children to your underachiever/underemployed ex, and will pay him child support and maybe alimony, even th0ugh the economy is still geared towards paying males more than females, especially for jobs requiring academic lesser skills.
Then you can decide if busting your a- to get through business school or law school was worth it, just so you can support some guy who could be self-supporting (unlike a woman of 40 years ago), but CHOOSES not to.
Feminists are very naive sometimes. During slavery, many African Americans had advanced trade skills by the standards of the time. But it didn't mean diddly, because they didn't reap any financial benefit from their skills; only their owners did. With emancipation, many slaves may have hoped that they could move up the ladder with hard work. No such luck. Now they were driven out of the north (not to return till the mid 20C), and banned from practicing or training for certain trades. Those who managed to prosper anyway were terrorized by the Klan and similar groups.
I'm not saying that all men relative to women are like the Klan. Individual circumstances differ. But for the class of abusers, drinkers, and/or chronically lazy who manage to twist all circumstances to their advantage, having the woman assume the responsibilities of breadwinning just means she'll be pimped off of for life, or at least till the kids are grown, whether she divorces him or not.
Fund manager Nicola Horlick, worth £20million, said within 30 years, 60 per cent of Britain's wealth would be controlled by women.
The proportion of stop & searches of male persons is 93.7% (227,994 rolling year), with just 12,367 women being stopped & searched.
The article goes on to recount many other examples of male childcare workers being discriminated against in this exact way - men are not supposed to be in physical contact with children. Murray, in a discussion of the implications of this, suggests that the bigotry against male caregivers is rooted in sexism and in bigotry against gay men (even if the caregiver isn't gay).
December 15th, 2005 at 9:34 pm
So let me get this straight. Most rapists and child molesters are men. As women, we get harassed nad hassled on a daily basis by men, who then bitch that we hate them, when we'd be happy if they'd just leave us alone. We have to fight rape and wife-beating and child abuse, and do it against MRAs and FRAs who claim we hate men. God forbid, though, that you actually call men on a privilege-the ability to molest women, girls, and everyone else with impunity.
This is like those commercials that show men as crappy fathers. Sad fact is, women still do more childcare, so it's the truth, what are they complaining about?
Bottom line is, I've had way more experience with men bitching about feminists than I've had with men bitching about other men. Hell, we've even got nice feminist men-supposedly nice feminist men-letting trolls bitch and moan about how evil we are. We're supposed to take it. Then again, it's not the nice feminist men that get called man-hating feminazi bitches, though.
If men don't want to feared as predators in general they need to shut up about feminists who are fighting predators, fight on our side, and complain about the predators instead of about us.
Yeah, that'll happen
December 16th, 2005 at 2:59 am
"Most rapists and child molesters are men. As women, we get harassed nad hassled on a daily basis by men, who then bitch that we hate them, when we'd be happy if they'd just leave us alone. We have to fight rape and wife-beating and child abuse, "
Is it any wonder that there is so much suspision about men, when you have the likes of ginmar about, that can only talk of men in the negative and dismiss any issue that comes up.
I don't want to cause offence here but you have to admit that Feminism is complicit in the whole Men = abuser situration, i am not saying it is wholely guilty but it has contributed to the problem.
This is gender profiling, and is no different from racial profiling. Just becasue men statisticly commit more child abuse, does that mean that me as an individual is any more dangerouse than the woman I am with?
This is the cance for the feminists to demonstrate they are about equality for all and not just about women.
We have reached a very sick point in our society that views all men a dangerous, too both women and children, ignoring the fact of how many men sacrifice their lifes for women and children, the fact that a man is more likely to help a woman and children than harm a woman and children.
I work in the voluntary sector and see first hand men self selecting away from working with children, its just not worth the comments and hassell to them. But I guess that this is what some feminists want.
And Finally Ginmar, men work on a daily basis to prevent rape, and child abuse, feminists are not the only ones that are doing it! If it was something that was condoned within the male community, can you explain why rapists and child abusers have to be seperated in prisions from other prisoners?
The Angelmakers is an observational portrait of the sleepy village of Nagyrev in
rural Hungary. We meet its inhabitants, who share with us their daily life as well as their memories of the village's tainted past. We gradually come to understand the extent of the 'arsenic murders' which took place in 1929, when a large group of women were held responsible for poisoning their husbands with the so-called 'flypaper' method.
Having been unable to talk about this period in history for many years, an intriguing web of stories unfolds through the characters' memories which recapture old but ever-lasting tales of life, death and the struggle between the sexes.
Rather than presenting historic facts, we meet, for example, 93 year old Rosika, who shows us her pantry in which one of the murderers hung herself in order to avoid arrest. We also hear about the present-day struggles from the members of the all-female 'Danceclub Surprise' and their fight for their right to get out of the home and pursue their own interests.
A fascinating insight into both past and present and the ongoing saga around male & female relationship
A quarter of women have had drinks spiked
By Ashleigh Wallace
06 December 2005
A quarter of young women have had their drinks spiked with either a date-rape substance, recreational drugs or strong spirits, according to a survey out today.
A total of 2,000 young women across Britain were questioned about aspects of personal safety - with 75% expressing fears that new licensing laws in England with extending opening hours would lead to more problems in pubs and clubs.
The poll carried out for More magazine, which has a readership of teenagers and women in their early 20's, revealed drink spiking was most likely to happen in a nightclub or pub, followed by at a party or a friend's house.
While around 25% reported having drinks spiked, other results revealed that 87% of young women worry about being mugged, while 75% expressed fears about being victims of rape.
Nearly six out of ten women surveyed said they were fearful of gangs and street violence while nine out of ten blamed alcohol for violent behaviour.
Donna Armstrong, the editor of More magazine, said that according to the results of the survey, young women do not feel protected in Britain.
She said: "Young women today want better standards of behaviour in society and they have a basic human right to be safe - regardless of whether they are wearing a short skirt.
"Young women are taking precautions and doing their best to protect themselves but the law isn't doing enough to protect them."
Marie Brown, management co-ordinator for the Foyle Women's Aid, said any extension in licensing laws could lead to problems not only of drugs being spiked but also the dangers associated with binge drinking.
"I don't think extending licensing hours here is a good idea, it just means young people will be out an extra hour later and for parents, this means more worry."
Too many women are jailed, says top judge argues Lady Hale
By Nigel Morris, Home Affairs Correspondent
Published: 05 December 2005
Britain's senior female judge will make an impassioned plea today for fewer women to be jailed, protesting that both courts and the prison system discriminate against them.
Baroness Hale of Richmond will point to the "disproportionate increase" in the numbers of women and teenage girls in custody and call for judges to consider alternative community sentences for female offenders.
She will also complain that recent changes by the Government to sentencing rules could have had the perverse result of more women being sent to prison.
About 4,600 women are currently locked up, 6 per cent of the prison population, compared with 900 in 1960, when they represented just 3.3 per cent of prisoners. Another 267 girls under 18 are in custody. The chance of a woman being jailed by a crown court has doubled in the past 15 years.
Delivering the Longford Lecture, sponsored by The Independent, Lady Hale, the only female law lord, will denounce "some very unequal treatment" faced by women and girls who appear before the courts. "A male-ordered world has applied to them its perceptions of the appropriate treatment for male offenders," she will say. More and more in recent years, women and girls have been punished in the same way as men and boys. There seems to be less and less understanding of the ways in which their lives are very different from men's."
She will argue that courts do not pay sufficient attention to the fact that many female offenders have been victims of crime, including sex abuse or domestic violence, which could account for "behavioural problems and antisocial activity".
They suffer higher levels of mental illness and even more serious problems with drug addiction than male prisoners. The suicide rate for women in prison (there were 13 cases last year) is double that for men.
Because there are few women's jails, prisoners are often separated from their families by long distances or are housed in institutions designed for men.
"As the chief inspector [of prisons] has put it, prisons are geared to young adult males. That is their comfort zone. Everyone else is in a minority and they struggle to know how to cope."
Lady Hale will conclude that the most effective way to tackle the problem is to develop alternatives to jail: "The greatest impact would be if there were more community treatment facilities for women with mental health and substance abuse problems and more community sentences designed with women's needs in mind."
That approach has been backed in a recent public opinion poll, she will argue, but instead, prison chiefs are building two more jails for women, which has caused some to "doubt where the service sees the future".
Lady Hale will also say that the Criminal Justice Act of 2003 could have increased the chances of women being jailed because it toughens the severity of sentences imposed on repeat, low-level offenders such as shoplifters. And new sentences that combine prison and community punishments, brought in under the Act, are imposed on women who might otherwise have received community sentences. "It is right that the judiciary should jealously guard its independence from Government and the executive," Lady Hale will say. "But that does not mean it should ignore the concerns expressed by others about the trends for which its decisions are responsible.
A review of the treatment of female inmates has been ordered by ministers after an investigation into suicides concluded too many vulnerable women were being locked up. Stephen Shaw, the prisons ombudsman, warned that jailing women with drug and mental health problems was "disproprotionate and ineffective".
The number of men paying women for sex has nearly doubled in a decade, says research. Why?
One in 10 of the 11,000 men asked in a survey in 2000 said they used prostitutes, compared to one in 20 in 1990.
The figure is published for the first time in the latest edition of the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.
But why such a sharp rise in just a decade?
Dr Helen Ward, lead author of the report, points to growing divorce rates, sex tourism like stag holidays and the increasing availability of commercial sex through such means as the internet.
She sees an increased commercialisation of sex in the media, such as "lad mags".
Sex psychologist Dr Lesley Perman-Kerr, who was not involved with the report, acknowledges sex is shedding its taboo and wonders if men are more willing to own up.
"Maybe men are just more open about it. Human beings don't tend to change that much and there's always been prostitutes and always been affairs."
Research carried out in 1949 claimed one in four men used prostitutes so in that context the latest figures do not seem so startling.
However there are changes in sexual attitudes which could have contributed to an increase, says Dr Perman-Kerr.
"Men and women are saying they want the sex life they want and they're not prepared to put up with anything less.
"In my work I see that sex is one of the major issues within marriage and people are more prepared to talk about it, and I don't see an enormous difference between men and women complaining about it, but men have an easier outlet.
"Sex without commitment is another feature of sex with a prostitute. You can be who you want with who you want and very often people will not explore these things with a partner, even if it's something as innocuous as dressing up in women's clothes."
While men have prostitutes to express themselves with, this is not so available for women so some use casual relationships instead, she says.
And while stag weekends and divorce rates are probably "irrelevant influences", greater honesty among respondents must be considered. Work pressures too could be a factor.
"People are more overloaded with work and feel they don't have time to form relationships but still want to have sex. Money isn't the object but the desire to form a relationship with someone is not there. And the internet has made it more available."
But does it really matter if more men are seeing prostitutes?
"I think it's healthy for sexual expression but I don't think it's healthy to exploit people for sex or to have sexual practices that are harmful to another person," says Dr Perman-Kerr.
"But I would like to see the possibility of people expressing themselves without resorting to paid sex. That's the revolution that needs to happen."
Police chief warns that attackers will target binge-drinking women
Mark Townsend and Gaby Hinsliff
Sunday November 27, 2005
Britain's most senior police expert on sexual violence warned yesterday that more women could be raped as a result of the new licensing laws.
Rapists would target young women who had been binge-drinking, said John Yates, the Association of Chief Police Officers' expert on sexual offences.
Yates, the Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner, said last night: 'Anything that involves more drinking of course involves the risk of increasing allegations of rape and sexual assault.
'Drinking is a real issue. Forget Rohypnol [the date-rape drug], the biggest single factor in terms of drugs and rape is alcohol,' he said. 'Men, I suspect, think that they can get away with rape; that they have a one in 20 chance of being convicted. Rapists are clever. They have changed their behaviour, they are targeting nightclubs where young girls have been drinking.'
Although judges have previously warned that pubs and clubs that stay open all hours may lead to a rise in rapes, this is the first time a senior police figure has expressed such concerns.
His comments came as the minister responsible for rape prosecutions unveiled fresh moves to secure more convictions. Solicitor General Mike O'Brien announced that he was considering introducing expert witnesses to aid jurors in rape cases.
He also admitted concern over the 'profoundly disturbing' frequency of alcohol in rape cases. It follows a survey last week showing that 30 per cent of the public believe that drunk women hold some responsibility for being raped.
His comments follow last week's furore over the collapse of a rape case at Swansea Crown Court in which the victim admitted under cross-examination that she was unsure she had not consented to sex because she was too drunk to remember.
Commenting publicly for the first time on the case, O'Brien stressed the verdict did not affect the principle that a 'woman, whether drunk or not, has the absolute right to say no.'
Aside from alcohol, a principal concern to ministers and senior police officers remains the public's attitude to rape. Yates said that surveys suggesting significant numbers of the public believe a woman who gets drunk, flirts or dresses in short skirts has herself to blame if she is raped, pose grave dangers to jurors. Yates will write this week to Home Office minister Paul Goggins, urging the government to launch an educational programme aimed at challenging such 'outdated' views.
It has also emerged that the solicitor-general is looking to increase convictions by copying the US system of introducing expert witnesses who can explain to jurors the trauma and behaviour of rape victims.
The government, however, remains firmly opposed to lowering the standard of proof in rape cases, aware that although such a move would increase the number of convictions it would also heighten the risk in sending innocent people to jail.