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Topics - The Invisible Male

The title is unfortunately misleading, but it looks awesome!






We plan to accomplish this by making a film.
A film that many people will see, and as a result will take action.
And we need your HELP!

If the trailer caught your attention and you agree that a film will propel this issue, once and for all, into the spotlight of government attention, then please help us finish it. To date, we have been out of pocket on all expenses, and we now need a community effort to complete the full-scale film.

We know that those of you most affected by divorce and child custody battles are likely the least able to make a financial contribution. Even $5 multiplied many times will help us achieve our goal of finishing this film. But if $5 is difficult, then please drop us a note of support to: [email protected] - That goes a long way too.
Main / New MRA book coming out
Apr 27, 2012, 04:25 PM
The Second Sexism: Discrimination Against Men and Boys
by David Benatar

Editorial Reviews
With clarity and cogency, The Second Sexism presents the first sustained philosophical examination of systematic discrimination against men.  This is not part of a backlash against feminism; it is part of the next crucial step toward the construction of social arrangements that are fairer, more humane, and less restrictive of individual freedom.
-Don Hubin, Ohio State University

This book is as courageous as it is brilliant and as honest as it is thought provoking.  The issue is not whether women have been wronged, but whether the responses to the wrongs against women have often resulted in there being wrongs against men.  In quite surprising ways, David Benatar's book is a wonderful reminder of the tremendous importance of John Stuart Mill's distinction between "living truth" and "dead dogma"; for it is not at all a conceptual truth that the dogma of sexual inequality has been replaced by and only by living truth with respect to equality for all.  Benatar is absolutely masterful--nay, majestic--in illustrating that reality.
- Laurence Thomas, Syracuse University

David Benatar once again enters the ethico-political debates of our time with his controversial argument about the neglected side of sexism--wrongful discrimination against men. Justice is never a zero-sum game to Benatar, and his well argued and thoughtful book makes a compelling case for taking seriously men's hidden injuries if we are to genuinely build a better world.
-Daphne Patai, University of Massachusetts
From the Back Cover
While the manifestation of sexism against women is widely acknowledged, few people take seriously the idea that males are also the victims of many and quite serious forms of sex discrimination.

So unrecognized is this form of sexism that the mere mention of it will be laughable to some. Yet women are typically exempt from military conscription even where men are forced into battle and risk injury, emotional repercussions, and death. Males are more often victims of violent crime, as well as of legalized violence such as corporal punishment. Sexual assault of males is often taken less seriously. Fathers are less likely to win custody of their children following divorce.

In this book, philosophy professor David Benatar provides details of these and other examples of what he calls the "second sexism." He discusses what sexism is, responds to the objections of those who would deny that there is a second sexism, and shows how ignorance of or flippancy about discrimination against males undermines the fight against sex discrimination more generally.
On Urbandictionary it looks like the entry for the word misandry has been hijacked by a feminist hacker.  There are approximately 100 duplicate definitions by the same person who created a hateful definition, and the first four duplicates each have about 30,000 upvotes.   I emailed them about it a couple of days ago, but they haven't done anything about it yet.  My email was probably read by a feminist who is laughing about it.

1.    misandry   28492 up, 157 down
Dear editor, this entry does not violate any of the rules on the editor homepage. "Rule 3. Publish opinions. Don't reject an entry just because it's opinionated. Opinions are useful to readers unfamiliar with a topic. Don't reject an entry because you disagree or are offended. Don't reject an entry because you think it's inaccurate." It's not sexist as it's a view which can be held by any gender, doesn't generalise entire groups and citing another's opinion isn't personal approval or promotion. "Rule 2. Entries can document discrimination but not endorse it."

Generally, "misandry" refers to the hatred and oppression of men on a genotypic basis.

As sociologist Allan Johnson notes, "misandry" has no place in a male-identified, male-centered world. Moreover, Johnson states: "And it takes almost no criticism at all in order for men to feel "bashed," like it's "open season on men." In fact, just saying "male privilege" or "patriarchy" can start eyes rolling and evoke that exasperated sense of "Here we go again." (Allan Johnson, "Privilege, power and difference," p. 197) "Accusations of male bashing and man hating work to discredit feminism because people often confuse men as individuals with men as a dominant and privileged category of people. Given the reality of women's oppression, male privilege, and some men's enforcement of both, it's hardly surprising that EVERY woman should have moments when she resents or even "hates" men." (Allan Johnson, "The gender knot," p. 107
buy misandry mugs & shirts
privilege heterocentricity homophobia transphobia gender roles oppression patriarchy masculist paranoia victim masculism victim complex masculist disingenuity masculist smear campaign masculist hypocrisy masculist irrationality dogma conservatism right-wing regressive
by a censored, inconvenient truth May 11, 2011 share this add a video

Many other (unbiased) definitions still appear on Google when doing a site search (misandry but have been either deleted or buried within the 100 or so duplicate definitions:

Urban Dictionary: Misandry 21, 2011 - Misandry is the hatred or dislike of men or boys. In 1999, writer Warren Farrell compared dehumanizing stereotyping of men to dehumanization ...

Urban Thesaurus: misandry belief that women are and should be treated as potential intellectual equals and social equals to men. These people can be either male or female human ...

Urban Dictionary: misandry of men. In its essence it is as aggressive and discriminatory as misogyny is. Almost the same set of negative features is ascribed to men. I...

Urban Dictionary: Misandry directed at a male/boy/man for BEING a male/boy/man. This is a very awful thing to be. This is discrimination, yet, society makes it look go...

Urban Dictionary: misandry for misandry: feminism feminist ... A view of men that views all men as rapists or abusers is an obvious example of misandry. buy misandry mugs & ...

On Wikipedia, I found the following quote in the entry for Buddy Film:   "Critics like Molly Haskell and Robin Wood saw the decades' films as "a backlash from the feminist movement".[7] Philippa Gates wrote, "To punish women for their desire for equality, the buddy film pushes them out of the center of the narrative...

I tried to delete the quote but it was replaced within several hours with a message to me saying that it comes from a credible source.  If a source makes a clearly misandric and unfounded statement, it should no longer be credible.  But of course feminists don't care about logic.  One of the reasons feminism is so powerful is because too many feminists have too much free time sitting in front of their computer just waiting to do battle, while men are busy doing real work in the real world.  I've noted on many occasions that many vandalized or extremely biased Wikipedia pages stay that way for months or years, even when flagged and begging someone to clean up the page, but if it's anything having to do with gender even in the slightest way, the response (battle) is virtually instantaneous.  There truly is an army of feminists that sit at their computers all day, latte in hand, just waiting to do battle, alerts set up for all their favorite pages in case any antifeminist (or rational being) tries to modify their propaganda.


She added that she needed the money because she was unemployed and had bills on two houses to pay.

"It's just hard, you know," she told the TV station. "I'm struggling."

No mention of her being a mother, which I'm sure the media would mention if that were the case.  Get a job!  The stereotype is of the manchild living unemployed in his parents' basement, but I'd say this scenario is actually more common (unemployed young women leeching off their boyfriends, husbands, or parents if not welfare).  Slightly off topic, why is it still socially acceptable for stay-at-home moms turned housewives to remain unemployed for 20+ years after their children go to college.  Talk about early retirement!  There is really no excuse for not getting at least a part time job even by the time the kids are in elementary school.  By that age parenting is definitely a part time job.
Apparently search engines are using subtle tactics in the War Against Boys.  I'm going to email Christina Hoff Sommers about this obfuscation tactic, since she is working on a 2nd edition of her seminal book.  Google the terms (without quotes) foster boys percent and look through the first ten results.  Only one of the ten results actually shows the word boys in bold type in the snippet.  The rest show the word kids in bold type, an alternative search term that was obviously set by someone at Google and not specified in my search query.  To prove this is the case, just search foster girls percent and you'll see that kids is not a substitute term for girls.  Only the word girls is in bold type in those results, not kids. 

The only motivation I see for this subtle but nefarious search algorithm is that Google has a feminist agenda (like Wikipedia) and feels that searching for anything regarding boys' issues or topics is verboten.  Girls must always be included even when trying to do something just for boys.  (eg, Big Brothers organization is now Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Boys Clubs of America is now Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA is now officially called the Y). 

I first noticed this Google algorithm when searching for martial arts classes for my son to see if there are any classes just for boys.  It was like looking for a needle in a haystack, combing through the hundreds of results that only mentioned kids karate, which I think is Google's objective.  They wouldn't be so brazen as to not give any results with the search term boy, so they'll just bury those results with the gender neutral term and make the information harder to find.  As a side note, I noticed that below a certain age, you can find plenty of sports classes just for girls, but almost none just for boys.

Today's news story about Rick Santorum vs Google has a quote that is now clearly disingenuous: "Google's search results are a reflection of the content and information that is available on the Web," says spokesman Gabriel Stricker.  The Google spokesman says it is not their problem to fix the pornographic search results that come up with Rick Santorum's name, results that were rigged by a gay activist, but Google will clearly go out of their way to rig results themselves to obfuscate any searches for boys topics.


He chastised black fathers for being nothing more than "sperm donors." He called out "doggone" hoodie-wearing teens who'd never get jobs with their underwear or the "crack of your butt" showing. And he came down on neglectful parents who "need to get a hold of your kids before we have to."

I can't find the other article that quotes his speech in more detail, but he only criticizes "parents", "fathers", and "boys".  He has nothing bad to say specifically about "mothers" or "girls".  This glaring omission is especially noteworthy because even though the speech was in response to recent flash mobs, it is also right on the heels of Philadelphia's first Slut Walk, where women and girls are allowed to dress any way they want with no criticism allowed, especially from politicians, but boys should not be able to get a job if they don't pull their pants up in the mayor's opinion.  Of course it's okay for girls to show their cleavage and tats on the job.  His speech also comes just after the local transit bus getting shot up by white knighting gang bangers because abusive babymomma Penny Chapman hated that a man dared to scold her on the bus for hitting her kid.  Note to mayor:  If the fathers are absent, then it can only be the mother who is abusing the kids, turning them into future gangbangers.  I live in the hood and have a 3-year-old of my own.  Every day I see (black) mothers verbally and physically abusing their toddlers and school aged kids at the playgrounds and swimming pools with no one daring or caring to confront them.  When the mothers aren't abusing their sons, they're ignoring them instead of playing with them (while doting over their daughters).

Many who oppose the decision have also spoken out, saying that they feel it undermines people's moral or religious convictions against contraception.

The only reference to any opposition is about religion, not the blatant sexism.  Don't women always say that men should have thought of using a condom when those men complain about being stuck with 18 years of child support?  Well still no free condoms for men.  I guess women need to take ALL the responsibility since they're the ones getting all the handouts.  Or how about STDs?  Supposedly men are the only culprits when it comes to spreading them.  Well no free testing or counseling for men.  At least the comments at the end of the article are off to a good start.  It never takes long for a pro-male comment to appear these days.  Unfortunately those voices are willfully ignored by lawmakers as much as ever.

Christina Scavo and Shannon O'Toole say they were subjected to sexual harassment and discrimination

The pair say they lost their jobs as part-time massage therapists after objecting to sexually suggestive text messages he sent in 2008

The two women say Favre sent messages that read: "Brett here you and crissy want to get together I'm all alone" and "Kinda lonely tonight I guess I have bad intentions."

Oh the horror  :rolle:  Those are probably the most polite and low-key sext messages I've ever heard.

Just like with Tiger Woods, one woman makes an accusation, there are surely others ready to jump on the bandwagon once the man's name is tarnished.  They probably think their story doesn't need as much credibility or sympathy at that point.

The usual desperate attempt to make a woman on the scene into *the* hero of the day while downplaying the men who really took care of the situation.

But for reasons she doesn't know, he didn't pull the trigger. She was allowed to leave the room a second time

I've long been convinced that even the most hardened criminals are mostly chilvalrous (probably having been trained to be so by a single mother).  Why else would 75% of muggings happen to men, even though they are more likely to effectively fight back.  I think it's actually the most badass men who are the most likely to yell that you should "never hit a woman!" (or shoot her in this case).

Some good comments after the article though:


The Communist News Network says absolutely nothing about the citizen in with the handgun that shot and mortally wounded the man. Instead they focus on the dumb lib woman that did nothing except nearly get herself killed. Its time Americans wake up to the media brain washing they are receiving. Also, the angry man with the gun was complaining about the taxes and the Commie news conviently left all that out of the video. Portray everyone as a kook except the kook swinging a purse and looking down the barrel of a gun. Thank God for that right winger in the audience.
2 minutes ago | Like | Report abuse 

Gutsy, yes, but also very, very seriously stupid. She's lucky he didn't just blow her brains out. Hitting a maniac who's got a gun with your PURSE and thinking that'll stop him is about as stupid as you can get. I agree that she should not be getting any coverage for this insane move. Who knows if someone else will decide to act as she did because they see the attention she's getting and the fact that she survived, only their end result won't be as fortunate. At least they're getting the word out that this is exactly what you should NEVER do in these circumstances. 
2 minutes ago | Like | Report abuse 

This lady is NOT a hero and does not deserve to be treated like so. She could have gotten herself and others killed by acting so rash. Sure in the heat of the moment you're adrenaline is pumping and you lose the ability to think clearly. Who knows, maybe that's what happened to her. But regardless she could have definitely made the situation a lot worst. The media strikes again. OH by the way, PURSE vs GUN??? hmmm
3 minutes ago | Like (1) | Report abuse

Would store security ever confront a female shopper showing too much cleavage or having her thong sticking out, let alone having her arrested no matter how much of a hard time she gave the security officer?

I live near Sesame Place, an amusement park solely for preschoolers, and since it has a water park, many moms walk around in string bikinis, which is really offensive to me when I have my 2-year-old there.  The park could institute a rule requiring one-piece swimsuits, but they would never dare offend the moms by "restricting their civil liberties" on private property.  Women always have their sex-offender radar trained on men, but I think these exhibitionists are certainly guilty of indecent exposure when they are at a place specifically for preschoolers.
I like that this refreshing article is right on the heels of the recent NYT article about how girls are supposedly better siblings than boys, that they improve one's mental health.  This article is more realistic and the commenters are having a hard time finding a way to blame it on men, just the feeble "but men can be like that too!" (a variation on NAWALT).,8599,2031310,00.html


By Kayla Webley
Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010

In 2007, Kelly Valen wrote a personal essay for the New York Times' Modern Love column titled, "My Sorority Pledge? I Swore Off Sisterhood." In the column, Valen detailed how the cruelty she experienced in her college sorority caused her to avoid friendships with other women. But despite her own trauma, or perhaps because of it, Valen remained fascinated by women and the ways in which they relate to each other. So instead of giving up on her side of the species altogether, she drafted a survey that was completed by more than 3,000 women across the U.S. from different socioeconomic backgrounds. The results of that survey project are detailed in her book Twisted Sisterhood: Unraveling the Dark Legacy of Female Friendships. She talked to TIME about what she learned from the women she surveyed, how to avoid raising mean girls and why she has opened up to having female friends again.

Your New York Times piece created quite a firestorm online, drawing in both women who empathized and those who thought you were being too harsh. What did you learn?
That I wasn't alone in these feeling and anxieties. I thought other women were enjoying their friendships for the most part, and I was the only one who was thinking about some of these issues on a deeper level. It was unbelievable to have hundreds of women reaching out, saying these behaviors really need to stop. But I didn't really like getting ripped apart in the blogosphere either. I like to think of myself as a strong person, but that was really hard. There were so many misinterpretations and personal attacks.
(See photos of teens in America.)

A lot of women who disagreed with you seemed to want to assign the blame elsewhere -- on men, especially. What did you think about that?
I'm not saying that sexism doesn't exist, but I think it's fair to hold up a mirror at the same time as we hold up the bullhorn. Women are really getting hurt, and we're doing it to each other in many ways. I know this because I've heard it from 3,000 women.

About those women, what surprised you?
Let's start with the good news. Ninety percent of those women said that they did have a solid girlfriend in their life. That's wonderful news. But 84% of those same women said they had suffered real genuine wounding at the hand of other women. That shocked me. More than that, 88% said that there was an undercurrent of meanness and negativity plaguing the gender.

Why do you think other women have the capacity to hurt us the most?
Women have a different style of relating -- we mean so much to each other. We're socialized from a very young age to trust one another. I believe the closer you are, the more at risk you are to be hurt. There's that quote, "Men can hurt my body, but women scour my soul."

Michelle Obama has said she works very hard to make sure her kids are not mean girls. How much control do parents really have here?
Parents get the first crack at it. We're the ones that are setting the moral compass. The survey results showed that more than 90% of women feel that a mother can set her daughter on the right course. If you are sitting there with your girlfriends gossiping, judging other women and being two-faced and your daughter sees that day in, day out, it really teaches her to follow your way. It's a powerful message about how the world works when you see your mother bonding with other women over that. I'm not here to judge; parenting is hard. But I think we could all benefit from better role modeling.
(Read "How Not to Raise a Bully.")

I have to admit, I'm a bit terrified of having a girl now.
I heard that from so many women! And I heard from women who had boys and said they felt like they had dodged a bullet. What can I say? I think it's hard to be a kid these days, period. They have to deal with so many pressures that we didn't experience. But I do think girls have additional pressures. Look at the environment that they are growing up in. I worry that it's a less hospitable culture and getting worse. That the gender is no longer this sort of open, welcoming and nurturing sisterhood.
(Comment on this story.)

What can we all do now to change the experience for the next generation of girls?
It's so basic it's silly: it's opening up. It's smiling. It's being more inclusive and reaching out to other people. Not just writing other women off or dismissing them because they are different or not a part of your regular day or safe friend group that you already know. It's putting yourself out there and knowing that a lot of women feel the same way you do. Maybe they're sitting at home too, just waiting for another woman to give them a chance. We've got to treat people with respect and dignity. If that sounds cliché, I'm sorry, but it's a reminder so many of us forget.

So are you still sworn off other women?
No. I've opened back up. The happiness in all of this is now I feel like I really do have good, solid girl friendships. I feel like maybe I've let them down over the years because I've had these issues. But as a result of this project, I think I'm a better friend, I'm a better woman, I'm a better human.

I hate the Huffington Post but saw the article on Google News and had to see if the headline was being sarcastic.  Unfortunately not.  Nice to see at least one MRA comment at the end of the article.


Jane Smiley
Pulitzer Prize-Winning Novelist and Essayist
Posted: November 12, 2010 09:22 AM

When I asked my older daughter what she thought of my divorce from her father (she is 32), she said, "Do you really think I wish we had remained in that suffocating little four-person family?" But my daughter is a pro-divorce radical. Even as a teenager, when she dated boys from nuclear families, she was open about how dull their lives were compared to ours--always the same few people sitting around after dinner, no step-brothers and sisters, half-brothers and sisters, foster brothers and sisters. Here we were with an extended family and none of the parents had had to defy the prescriptions of Zero Population Growth (she is strict about over-population). It was divorce that gave her the tribe of peers that she wanted, and she has never seen a downside.

I will say, though, that when I've defended divorce in the past--notably in an Op-Ed for the New York Times, the response has been outrage. In America, you are never supposed to treat divorce with anything but appalled lamentations. No type of family is better than an intact nuclear family, ever. That millions of Americans have voted with their feet for other types of families is just a sign of cultural failure, or personal failure (the personal failure of the divorced ones, of course--the married ones have at least kept it together, even if...well, I won't go into the cost of keeping it together. I come to bury divorce, not to praise it. Amen.)

So, let me not praise divorce. Let me just offer a few suggestions about how to make it good for the children.

1. No United Front. People are quite frequently eccentric. Grown-ups quite frequently do not agree on basic issues like discipline of the children, the balance of power within the marriage, budgeting, running the household, sex, how the world works, etc. When they attempt to present a united front for the children, this can come to be, basically, a lie, as in "Daddy and I love each other very much, and we agree on everything, especially what is good for you." If the reality is that Daddy and I don't know what in the world we agree on or whether we actually love each other, then the dissonance between the presentation of the united front and what the child sees for him or herself can undermine the child's sense of reality. Once the parents are divorced, Mom and Dad are able to discuss with the children those things that they differ on. That doesn't mean either one can say, "Gee, your ___ is a full-fledged mindless jerk." A better approach: when the child says, "Why does ___ do that?", the parent says. "Well, here is how ___ sees it. Here are some reasons for that. It's possible to agree or disagree with that point of view, but I see it differently, and here's why." A steady diet of this, I think, allows the children not only to differentiate between the parents, but also to differentiate between lots of points of view, and to develop a point of view of his or her own. Most importantly, his or her sense of reality is not undermined by a determined effort on the part of the parents to deny reality.

2. More Siblings. I was an only child. I've known only children. From this experience, I do believe that the children should outnumber the parents. Parents are powerful. Children need friends and allies as well as playmates and antagonists. They need a cohort of peers to liven the place up and counterbalance the parents' ideas. Combined families often get bad reviews, but the family my children got when they traded away "the suffocating four-person" nuclear one is one that has benefited all of them. My daughters got step-siblings with whom they have lifelong relationships and a half-brother they love, and my son got an older step-brother who has been an excellent example for him, and a good friend. The only siblings I have are half-siblings. My nuclear family would have been an extra-suffocating threesome. Instead, I have an interesting brother and sister, in-laws, and darling nephews.

Not everyone in my children's cohort has a relationship with everyone else, but the relationships that do exist are important to them. However, you must let these relationships form independently of you. You can't force the kids to like each other, though you can insist that they be courteous to one another and you can forbid bullying. And why shouldn't you? You wouldn't let them bully school friends, would you?

3. Conflict Management. It's good practice! Nuclear families tend to get into patterns of conflict that last for years and seem like normality. Step-families have to be more self-conscious about conflict management. My most important piece of advice is, the step-parent has to be the good cop and the parent has to be the bad cop, and both members of the couple have to do their jobs. This means that if there is some indulging to be done, the step-parent has to not only be willing to do it, but to do it sincerely. I mean, these are kids! They are not kids you gave birth to, but they are cute and they are inexperienced. They also can be won over with gifts and kindness. There is no reason to take a stand or operate by some authoritarian standard--as an intruder (in the eyes of the children), the step-parent does not have that option. If they behave badly, then the parent's job is to correct them, and the step-parent's job is to discuss this with the parent quietly and reasonably behind closed doors when no one is angry. Forewarned is forearmed--the step-parent has to know going into the family that these conflicts will come up and have a strategy for not losing his/her temper and for persuading the parent to deal with things. The parent has to know that the children and the step-parent have to learn to like each other. Chances are that members of a couple with step-children had plenty of conflict in the marriages they have left, so now's the time to gain some self-knowledge and some new techniques.

4. Love. With luck, we learn more about love as we get more practice. Why divorce the father if we can't learn from it? I never saw an example of conjugal affection and compatibility until my mother married my step-father, and even though that marriage was cut short by his premature death eight years later, I knew what to emulate in my own adulthood. My partner and I offer a model of love that is kind, generous, affectionate, and fun. The children may or may not learn from it, but at least it is visible to them. Maybe, in fact, what it says to them is "if at first you don't succeed, try try again." Is that bad? I don't think so. I would be very sad if one of them got into a bad marriage and gave up.

5. Home. Everyone agrees that home is good and instability is bad. The nuclear family is supposed to offer a domestic haven in a scary world, and maybe it does. And maybe this haven is to be purchased at all costs--this is an individual decision. But any person or two people or three people can make a home, they just have to be willing to do it. When I was a child, my grandmother and grandfather made a part-time home for me, and now I would be sorry to have missed out on that, because they were vivid personalities and I loved them dearly. The home my mother made was appealing, too--she could cook and clean and decorate and welcome my friends. My two homes had two different sets of playmates and two different sets of activities. Because my mother was willing and able, I never felt strange in our two-person home, and because my grandparents were loving and involved, I never felt strange in their (our) home, either. My children were reared by joint custody--sleeping at each parent's house an equal amount of time. That they would feel at home in both houses was our first priority, and, according to them, they did feel at home, and also liked the change of venue. In fact, some of their friends were envious--two rooms? Two sets of Christmas presents? As I said, children are materialistic. The heart is where the home is, but you have to make it welcoming and homey. At the same time, children who have to negotiate two homes can learn to operate with flexibility and imagination. I remember reading in the New York Times that the crop of soldiers and junior officers in Iraq were cannier than their by-the-book superiors. This was attributed to what they had learned from divorce. I kid you not.

Divorce is based on the idea that we marry for love; you can't have one without the other. In cultures where marriage is based on property (women as property, marriage as exchange of property) divorce is much less common and love, at least for men, doesn't have to be (isn't often) a part of marriage (ask your wealthy French uncle if this isn't true). Falling in love is an expression of freedom and so is divorce. Freedom is, as they are always telling us, a responsibility. If we have the freedom to divorce, then we have to use it wisely. So far be it from me to praise divorce. For that, you're going to have to go to my daughter. Or Newt Gingrich.

Main / Newsweek: "Italy's Woman Problem"
Nov 15, 2010, 12:46 PM

by Barbie Nadeau
November 15, 2010

It's 8:30 p.m., and all eyes turn to Italy's most popular satirical news program, Striscia la Notizia (Strip the News). Two middle-aged men stand under a strobe light, one of them holding a belt from which dangles a vaguely phallic string of garlic. A woman slides across the floor on her stomach, wearing a sequined costume with a thong bottom and a deep-V neckline that plunges below her navel. As she stands up, one of the men dangles the garlic in front of her open mouth. She takes it in her hands and rubs it across the side of her face. "Go, turn around, let's give you a little look," the other man says, and touches the model's derrière. "Thank you, doll."

That's how prime time is in Italy. The parade of prurience is inescapable, an expression of the rot that's now manifest at the very top of the Italian government, a reflection of the society's deeper problem with the evolving role of women. While headlines tell an endless tale of teenage models, paid escorts, and Moroccan belly dancers cavorting with 74-year-old Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, the media make it clear that men are men, and women are window dressing. Boycotts, protests, and even complaints are rare, and when they're voiced, few listen. So while Berlusconi may well be acting like a dirty old man these days, it has to be said that a goodly number of Italian women have been willing to play his demeaning games for a long time.

He might have planned things this way. Long before Berlusconi won his first stint as prime minister in the 1990s, the scandal-ridden media mogul owned 45 percent of Italy's television market. He gained control of state television--another 50 percent--as head of government. With 95 percent of the TV market now under Berlusconi's umbrella, his cumulative influence on the way Italian women are seen and see themselves is hard to overstate. So are the negative results for Italy: while other European lands actively promote gender equality as a builder of national prosperity, Berlusconi has led the charge in the opposite direction, effectively stifling women by creating a world in which they are seen first and foremost as sex objects instead of professional equals.

An appalling portrait of Berlusconi's Italy emerges from the World Economic Forum's October 2010 Global Gender Gap Report. The WEF looks at such issues as wage parity, labor-force participation, and career-advancement opportunities for women, arguing that closing the gender gap Europe-wide could boost the euro zone's GDP as much as 13 percent. But as things stand now, Italy would be left leering on the sidelines. In every category but education, Italy lags badly: in labor participation, 87th place worldwide; wage parity, 121st; opportunity for women to take leadership positions, 97th. In the report's overall ranking, Italy now places 74th in the world for its treatment of women--behind Colombia, Peru, and Vietnam, and seven places lower than it did when Berlusconi returned to office in 2008. "Italy continues to be one of the lowest-ranking countries in the EU and deteriorate[d] further over the last year," the report says.

An entire generation has grown up in a society where demeaning soft-core porn is an acceptable addition to the daily news. It's been 23 years since Berlusconi's Canale 5 introduced Striscia la Notizia, with its voluptuous women known as veline--literally "scraps of paper"--parading through the segments. Today, showgirls don't only appear on every channel; some are even in government, appointed by Berlusconi. Polls show that more young Italian women want to be well-paid TV veline than doctors, lawyers, or business owners.

Others are convinced there's nothing they can do about gender discrimination. Berlusconi's harem culture sends a signal that seduction counts more than an impressive CV. "Our only form of protest is changing the channel," says Concetta di Somma, a 30-year-old aerobics instructor. "But when even the weather girl is showing her cleavage, if you protest with the clicker, you miss the news." Underrepresented in government and corporate life, women have little hope of changing the system from within. "It's a male-dominated society from the church on down," says Marina, a 57-year-old jewelry-store owner who asked not to use her last name for fear of hurting her business. "Women look like whores in advertising and on TV because that's what men want to see. Men make the advertising, make more money, and thus drive how the products are displayed."

Documentary filmmaker Lorella Zanardo recalls meeting with a top bank manager in Milan recently. On his desk in clear view was a calendar with each month represented by a bikini-clad babe. A magazine with a seminude woman sprawled on the cover was displayed on his coffee table. "This is a man who has to decide how many women will be in decision-making positions in his company," she says. "How does he separate these subliminal messages from reality when he makes these decisions?"

Any recent steps toward gender equality have come only as a result of international pressure. Moves to fill the country's public-administration offices and boardrooms with women were either drawn up during the previous, short-lived, center-left administration or forced into place by European Union corporate-governance codes. Measures to stop discrimination, especially against women of reproductive age, are largely ignored because there's simply no one to enforce them. Berlusconi "has weakened institutions aimed at addressing women's issues by narrowing mandates and decreasing budgets, and also by appointing women who are often inexperienced and have few ties to existing women's-rights organizations," says Celeste Montoya, an associate professor of women and gender studies at the University of Colorado who has written extensively about Italy.

The Berlusconi government has focused its women's-rights efforts primarily on the country's rising reports of domestic violence. But even there Berlusconi seems to miss the point: last year he apologized for not being able to combat growing rape numbers by explaining, "We don't have enough soldiers to stop rape because our women are so beautiful."

The cumulative impact of all this has made the workplace an unwelcoming if not downright hostile environment for women with even moderately serious ambitions. Only 45 percent of all Italian women work outside the home, the lowest rate in the European Union, and that rate has been stagnant for the past five years. By comparison, 80 percent of Norwegian women and 72 percent of British women work outside the home. When Italian women do have jobs, they earn on average 20 percent less than men, and they hold only 7 percent of Italy's corporate-management positions, versus an average of 33 percent in Scandinavian countries.

Italian women with jobs outside the home still spend more time on housework (21 hours a week) than any of their European counterparts except the Poles and Slovenes. (American women spend just four hours a week on housework.) And Italian men aren't much help. "To understand an Italian woman, you have to understand Italian men," says Maria Silvia Viti, 59, a retired teacher who raised her daughter as a single parent. "We do not have the same partnerships and division of domestic labor as women in other countries seem to achieve."

An Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development survey calculated that Italian men have 80 minutes more leisure time per day than their female counterparts, more than males from any other OECD country. (In Norway, men have just three minutes more leisure time a day than women.) A recent report by the Italian Association of Househusbands (a rather small group) found that 70 percent of Italian men have never used a stove, and 95 percent have never run a washing machine.

Italian women do have a generous state-mandated maternity leave--six months, with the guarantee of a job for up to a year after the birth--much like their European counterparts, but that hasn't exactly empowered them. Even though the law forbids it, employers don't hesitate to ask job candidates if they have any intention of starting a family, and many small to midsize companies shun women of childbearing age, rather than risk having to keep a job open so long. For the minority who do work and also have children, finding adequate day care is such a challenge that more than half of all working women rely on grandmothers as the primary caregivers.

In Italy more than most other countries in Europe, there's still a stigma attached to being a working mother. In rural areas especially, a working mom sending the kids off to a day-care center--if there is one--is frowned upon and seen as negligent. "Many traditional Italians feel that mothers are the best caregivers for young children," explains University of Turin economist Daniela Del Boca, and that may translate into a situation where they are the only caregivers. Even when the father is unemployed, the working mother often ends up bearing the entire burden of child rearing.

Ironically, despite this idealization of the Italian mother, Italy's birthrate is the lowest in Europe, at 1.3 children. Women who must work feel they have to choose between the job and children. "If we want a career, we cannot easily manage it with more than one child," says Viti, the retired schoolteacher. The low birthrate is a huge problem for an aging country where 15 percent of the GDP already goes to paying the pensions enjoyed by a staggering 22 percent of the population. Making it easier for mothers to work could make the difference between a viable economy and an inexorable decline in the quality of life for all Italians. The WEF report suggests that if even several hundred thousand of the country's 6 million women were to enter the workforce, it could boost the nation's GDP by 1 percent.

But for Berlusconi the idea of an educated female workforce seems to be more of a joke than the key to economic progress. He appointed an ex-showgirl, Mara Carfagna, to be Italy's minister of equal opportunity. Her topless-photo calendars still hang in the back halls of the Italian Parliament. Although she makes speeches promoting "equal rights and equal dignity" for women, Berlusconi himself is unapologetic on the topic. At a recent rally he said there was one way for women to ensure their future happiness and financial security: "Look for a wealthy boyfriend," he told a shocked crowd. "This suggestion is not unrealistic."

A year ago, more than 100,000 women signed a petition titled "Berlusconi Offends Us." He laughed it off, asking, "How can anyone say I don't love women?" While some in the Catholic press have at last condemned Berlusconi's escapades, calling him "ill," such criticism is not tolerated in the vast swaths of media interests that the prime minister controls. When the soon-to-be ex-Mrs. Berlusconi, Veronica Lario, publicly protested her husband's behavior, the response was swift. Several right-wing newspaper headlines called her an "ungrateful showgirl," and splashed topless pictures of her from her former career on their front pages. (Yes, the nation's first lady was also a topless actress.)

It's clear that Berlusconi's ouster--were it to happen--would weaken the toxic link between politics, the media, and gender discrimination. "His departure would send a relevant message," says Del Boca. But it will take Italians of both genders to reprogram their way of thinking if any real progress is going to be made. And just changing the channel won't be enough.

Main / Girl power gone awry
Jun 11, 2010, 05:46 AM
None of the US sources on Google News was willing to have a negative or critical headline about this foolish girl and her foolish parents, just this one article from the UK.  It reminds me of Amelia Earhart, who is famous for her failed attempt to fly around the world solo.  What man is ever memorialized for a failed attempt at anything?  The world is so desperate for female heroes that even failed attempts are good enough for the history books.


By Nick Allen in Los Angeles
Published: 11:46AM BST 11 Jun 2010

Sailing experts criticise Abby Sunderland's circumnavigation attempt

Sailing experts have sharply criticised US mariner Abby Sunderland, calling her attempt cross the treacherous Indian Ocean during winter "ridiculous and insane".

Abby Sunderland, 16, looks out from her sailboat, Wild Eyes Photo: AP Abby, 16, was spotted by a search and rescue plane after setting off two emergency beacons 2,000 miles west of Perth.

An international operation was lanched to find her, amid fears that she could have become separated from her boat and lost in the rolling, frigid seas.

While her family and support team in America are relieved that she is safe and well, the incident has sparked furious debate over the wisdom of allowing teenage sailors to attempt dangerous solo missions.

Last year a court acted against the wishes of the parents of a 13 year old Dutch girl by preventing her from setting off on a solo voyage around the world.

Sailing experts have warned that Abby should not have been in the dangerous southern seas at all.

Ian Kiernan, an Australian sailor who has circumnavigated the globe, said her voyage had not been planned properly and that she had been "foolhardy" to enter the Indian Ocean during winter when weather conditions could deteriorate swiftly and present a mortal danger.

Marty Still, an Australian who built the boat used by teenage sailor Jessica Watson to successfully sail round the world earlier this year, said that Abby's team had chosen the wrong type of craft for the perilous crossing. He said that her boat had been built for speed, not safety, and would be extremly difficult for one person to sail.

But the harshest criticism came from America. A columnist in the Los Angeles Times accused Abby's parents of "child abuse" for allowing their daughter to go ahead with her voyage and described the mission as "outrageous, ridiculous, incomprehensible insanity".

TJ Simers wrote: "Why is any 16-year-old allowed to place herself in harm's way? Why would any parent allow such a thing?

"I just don't understand the idea of risking life. This kid's going to be out there all by herself. Death is a possibility. Bad weather. Are you kidding me? Who's responsible for this? She's a kid."

However, the Sunderlands defended the decision to let Abby go.

"Could there be a tragedy?" Marianne Sunderland said in an interview with the ABC before she set off.

"Yeah, there could be. But there could be a tragedy on the way home tonight, you know, or driving with her friends in a car at 16. You minimise the risks."

Abby's attempt to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world, beating Watson's record, is now over.

After she triggered her emergency beacons in huge seas and losing satelitte phone communication with her team in the US, an expensive international search and rescue operation swung into action to find her.

The French territory of Reunion Island, off Madagascar, sent three ships to her aid and Australia deployed a Qantas passenger jet from Perth to search for her from the sky.

After a four-hour flight to Abby's last known location more than 2,000 miles from both Africa and Australia, the plane crew spotted her boat in an upright position and made contact with her via radio.

The teenager was inside the boat and uninjured with a heater and at least two weeks worth of food. However, the mast had broken off the boat, disabling the craft and effectively ending her record attempt.

A fishing boat is heading to pick her up and is expected to reach her in about 40 hours.

Her father Laurence Sunderland told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation: "She's fine, the boat's afloat and she's on it. It's huge, fantastic, exciting news.

"She wasn't rattled by the abating conditions that she had during her daytime," he said."Everything seemed to be fine but the calls were dropping in and out."

Abby's support crew had feared that she had become separated from her boat, or that the boat had been flipped upside down in the water, with Abby trapped inside, possibly injured.

The young sailor hit trouble when her 40ft sloop Wild Eyes encountered bad weather in the frigid southern Indian Ocean. She had been battling 25ft waves with 35-knot winds when she lost contact with her family and support crew and her boat had suffered two knockdowns. She was speaking on a satellite phone and said she would call straight back but did not. At the time, the closest ship was 400 miles away.

Abby set sail from Los Angeles on Jan 23 in an attempt to become the youngest person to sail around the world alone without stopping. Her brother Zac briefly held the record at age 17.

She completed the trip's most difficult section, rounding the southern tip of South America, known for treacherous winds and waves.

But she then ran into equipment problems, losing the use of her main autopilot, and had to stop for repairs in South Africa in April.

She decided to continue with her round-the-world voyage anyway, leaving Cape Town on May 21 and reaching the halfway point of her journey on Monday.

After having to abandon her non-stop attempt she said: "I will definitely keep going and whether or not I will make any more stops after this I don't know yet.

"I admit I was pretty upset at first, but their is no point in getting upset. What's done is done and there is nothing I can do about it."
Another "hits women hardest" article, yet it provides no evidence to that effect.  In fact, it states that only 20% of smokers are women, which seems even lower than I would have thought.  So this is an issue being made into a women's issue for no reason whatsoever, just like the feminists have done with heart disease.


By (ARA)

(ARA) - May 31, 2010 marks World No Tobacco Day (WNTD); an initiative of The World Health Organization. This year, WNTD will "draw particular attention to the harmful effects of tobacco marketing towards women" and will emphasize "the importance of controlling the epidemic of tobacco" among this population." Women account for approximately 20 percent of the world's 1 billion smokers and 17.4 percent of adult women in the U.S. smoke.

Cigarette smoking kills more than 173,000 women in the United States each year. In addition to the risks both men and women face from smoking, women are at risk for a unique set of complications, including certain cancers and problems with fertility and pregnancy.

A cycle of addiction
Even with all these risks, many women continue to smoke cigarettes. This may be because cigarettes contain a very addictive chemical called nicotine.

"Nicotine is highly addictive, and smoking should be treated as a chronic, relapsing medical condition," explains Carol Southard, RN, MSN, and tobacco treatment specialist with the Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group at the Center for Integrative Medicine and Wellness.

"Seeing your health care provider is an important first step and can be a good source of support to discuss options to help you stop smoking. There are seven FDA approved medications to help people quit smoking. Medications constitute an important cessation intervention, and it is recommended that clinicians should encourage every patient willing to make a quit attempt to use medication and counseling treatments. By using some of the medications, you may be able to at least double your chance of quitting," adds Southard.

Overcoming the urge
When smokers try to quit, they may experience withdrawal symptoms that cause them to slip up and have a cigarette.

People trying to quit can:

* Work with a health care provider to set up and stick to a quit plan. Discuss the option of using tobacco dependence counseling and medication treatments, which may be more effective than either alone.

* Ask friends and family to help them stay away from cigarettes and "triggers" that make them want to smoke.

It's never too late to try quitting
At any stage of life, smokers can decrease their health risks by quitting. Also, women who quit smoking before becoming pregnant or trying to become pregnant can reduce the risk of infertility, miscarriage, low birth weight and infant heart defects.

One study that examined female nurses between the ages of 30 and 55 across the U.S. from 1976 to 2004 shows that quitting smoking is beneficial to a woman's health. Some examples from this study of the potential impact of quitting on a smoker's health include:

* 20 years after quitting smoking, a woman's overall risk of dying may decrease to the level of a nonsmoker.

*Within five years of quitting smoking compared with continuing to smoke, a woman's risk of dying may decrease by 13 percent.

* Within five years of quitting smoking compared with continuing to smoke, the excess risk of death from coronary heart disease decreases 62 percent; death from cerebrovascular disease (stroke) decreases 42 percent and death from lung cancer decreases 21 percent.

* Within 10 years of quitting smoking compared with continuing to smoke, the risk of dying of respiratory disease decreases by 18 percent.

To learn more about quitting smoking, visit for resources including a useful checklist to make it easier to talk to a doctor about quitting.

This information is courtesy of Pfizer Inc.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

And it's not even breast cancer awareness month anymore!  I've been noticing the increasing proportion of headlines about breast cancer and mammograms since breast cancer month this year, and today they finally reached 50%.  Just to add to women's "me first" agenda, another 2 headlines are about the American Cancer Society's new branding initiative, which is women first. (  If you read the news, you'd think that virtually every disease in the world has been cured except for breast cancer.

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Weekend Business: The feminine advantage in investing

How Men's Overconfidence Hurts Them as Investors
Published: March 12, 2010

Men and women invest differently, a growing body of research has found. And in at least one important respect, women may be better at it.

The latest data comes from Vanguard, the mutual fund company. Among 2.7 million people with I.R.A.'s at the company, it found that during the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, men were much more likely than women to sell their shares at stock market lows. Those sales presumably meant big losses -- and missing the start of the market rally that began a year ago.

Male investors, as a group, appear to be overconfident, said John Ameriks, head of Vanguard Investment Counseling and Research and a co-author of the study. "There's been a lot of academic research suggesting that men think they know what they're doing, even when they really don't know what they're doing," he said.

Women, on the other hand, appear more likely to acknowledge when they don't know something -- like the direction of the stock market or of the price of a stock or a bond.

Staying the course and minimizing costs -- selling high and buying low, if you trade at all -- are the classic characteristics of good long-term, buy-and-hold investors. But during the financial crisis, the Vanguard study showed, men were more likely than women to trade -- and to do so at the wrong times.

That fits the patterns found in path-breaking research by Brad M. Barber of the University of California, Davis, and Terrance Odean, now at the University of California, Berkeley. In a 2001 study titled, "Boys Will Be Boys: Gender, Overconfidence and Common Stock Investment," they analyzed the investing behavior of more than 35,000 households from a large discount brokerage firm. All else being equal, men traded stocks nearly 50 percent more often than women. This added trading drove up the men's costs and lowered their returns.

The economists found that while both sexes reduced net returns through trading, men did so by 0.94 percentage points more per year.

In a telephone interview, Professor Barber said, "In general, overconfident investors are going to be interpreting what's going on around them and feeling they are able make decisions that they're really not equipped to make."

Short-term financial news often amounts to little more than meaningless "noise," he said. Far more than women, men try to make sense out of this noise, and to no avail.

Of course, gender generalizations must be taken with caution: they clearly don't apply to all men or all women. "The differences among women and the differences among men are much greater than the differences between men and women," he said.

Nevertheless, numerous studies show that men are more prone to make this particular mistake than women.

Women have also been shown to be more risk-averse than men. In portfolio selection, women tend to have a greater preference for fixed-income investments. That could cause their portfolio returns to lag over the long run, assuming that stocks outperform bonds -- though in a shaky market like the one of the last decade, this greater caution might be beneficial.

Selling volatile stocks in a down market -- as male I.R.A. investors did more often than women, according to the Vanguard data -- might seem to protect a portfolio. But that isn't necessarily so. Selling before the market falls and buying after it falls is the smart move. For long-term investors, though, the best strategy may be to ignore short-term market movements (perhaps rebalancing a diversified portfolio every so often).

Gender differences appear to extend to other financial behavior. For example, women who are C.E.O.'s and company directors tend to pay a lower premium in corporate takeovers, saving their shareholders a bundle, according to a 2008 study of mergers and acquisitions by Maurice D. Levi, Kai Li and Feng Zhang of the University of British Columbia.

What explains these differences? The answer isn't clear.

"Is it biological, or cultural?" Professor Barber asked. "Nature or nurture? At this point, we don't know."

Plenty of research is under way, though. Over the last five years, brain-imaging technology has made it possible to determine "what is happening in the brain just before people make financial decisions," said Brian Knutson, a Stanford psychologist and neuroscientist.

Researchers have found that activating the nucleus accumbens -- a brain region that is stimulated when you eat delicious food or look at an attractive person -- can affect financial risk-taking. When young Stanford men were shown pictures of partially clothed men and women kissing, he said, that region of their brains was activated. And when they were then given financial tests, the men became more likely to "make high-risk gambles."

Women didn't respond much to the same pictures, he said; it's possible the researchers didn't test enough women or that they haven't found the right stimuli.

Others studying the effects of hormones on financial behavior have found correlations between testosterone and risk-taking.

Alexandra Bernasek, a professor of economics at Colorado State University, said that the weight of history -- enormous gender disparities in earnings, wealth, power and social status -- might explain many behavioral differences. It's also possible, she said, that evolutionary psychology accounts for some of them. Before the dawn of history, aggressive risk-taking might have given men an advantage in finding mates, she said, while women might have become more risk-averse to protect their offspring.

Science may eventually provide some answers. In the meantime, she said, it would be a mistake to "force women into riskier financial behavior" that may be inappropriate, both for them and for society at large.

"Excessive risk-taking has gotten all of us into a lot of trouble," she said. "That's certainly one of the lessons of the financial crisis."

Main / Utah Bill Criminalizes Miscarriage
Feb 28, 2010, 07:35 PM

The headline intentionally leaves out the word "intentional" before the word miscarriage to get the feminists even more riled up than they otherwise would.  It's clear that the feminists support the idea of killing a fetus legally or illegally by any means for any reason whatsoever, but kudos to Utah for having some common sense!

By Rachel Larris, RH Reality Check

February 20, 2010 - 9:00am

A bill passed by the Utah House and Senate this week and waiting for the governor's signature, will make it a crime for a woman to have a miscarriage, and make induced abortion a crime in some instances.

According Lynn M. Paltrow, executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, what makes Utah's proposed law unique is that it is specifically designed to be punitive toward pregnant women, not those who might assist or cause an illegal abortion or unintended miscarriage.

The bill passed by legislators amends Utah's criminal statute to allow the state to charge a woman with criminal homicide for inducing a miscarriage or obtaining an illegal abortion. The basis for the law was a recent case in which a 17-year-old girl, who was seven months pregnant, paid a man $150 to beat her in an attempt to cause a miscarriage. Although the girl gave birth to a baby later given up for adoption, she was initially charged with attempted murder. However the charges were dropped because, at the time, under Utah state law a woman could not be prosecuted for attempting to arrange an abortion, lawful or unlawful.

The bill passed by the Utah legislature would change that. While the bill does not affect legally obtained abortions, it criminalizes any actions taken by women to induce a miscarriage or abortion outside of a doctor's care, with penalties including up to life in prison.

"What is really radical and different about this statute is that all of the other states' feticide laws are directed to third party attackers," Paltrow explained. "[Other states' feticide laws] were passed in response to a pregnant woman who has been beaten up by a husband or boyfriend. Utah's law is directed to the woman herself and that's what makes it different and dangerous."

In addition to criminalizing an intentional attempt to induce a miscarriage or abortion, the bill also creates a standard that could make women legally responsible for miscarriages caused by "reckless" behavior.   

Using the legal standard of "reckless behavior" all a district attorney needs to show is that a woman behaved in a manner that is thought to cause miscarriage, even if she didn't intend to lose the pregnancy. Drink too much alcohol and have a miscarriage? Under the new law such actions could be cause for prosecution.

"This creates a law that makes any pregnant woman who has a miscarriage potentially criminally liable for murder," says Missy Bird, executive director of Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Utah. Bird says there are no exemptions in the bill for victims of domestic violence or for those who are substance abusers. The standard is so broad, Bird says, "there nothing in the bill to exempt a woman for not wearing her seatbelt who got into a car accident."

Such a standard could even make falling down stairs a prosecutable event, such as the recent case in Iowa where a pregnant woman who fell down the stairs at her home was arrested under the suspicion she was trying to terminate her pregnancy.

"This statute and the standards chosen leave a large number of pregnant women vulnerable to arrest even though they have no intention of ending a pregnancy," Paltrow said. "Whether or not the legislature intended this bill to become a tool for policing and punishing all pregnant women, if enacted this law would permit prosecution of a pregnant woman who stayed with her abusive husband because she was unable to leave. Not leaving would, under the 'reckless' standard, constitute conduct that consciously disregarded a substantial risk," Paltrow explained.

While many states have fetal homicide laws most apply only in the third trimester. Utah's bill would apply throughout the entirety of a woman's pregnancy. Even first trimester miscarriages could become the basis for a murder trial.

Bird said she is also concerned that the law will drive pregnant women with substance abuse problems "underground;" afraid to seek treatment lest they have a miscarriage and be charged for murder. She said it directly reverses the attempts made, though a bill passed in 2008, to encourage pregnant women to seek treatment for addiction.

Paltrow added that the commonly thought belief that pregnant women who use drugs are engaging in behavior that is likely to cause a stillbirth or a miscarriage is wrong.

"Science now makes clear that drug use by pregnant women does not create unique risks for pregnant women, although it is likely that among those targeted for prosecutions by this statute will be women who go to term under drug usage," she said.

The bill does exempt from prosecution fetal deaths due to failure to follow medical advice, accept treatment or refuse a cesarean section. Bird said this exemption was likely because of a 2004 case where a woman who was pregnant with twins was later charged with criminal homicide after one of the babies was stillborn, which the state deemed due to her refusal to have a cesarean section.

Planned Parenthood and the ACLU of Utah worked together to "amend the hell out of the bill," Bird said. One of their few accomplishments was at least dropping the legal standard of "negligence" from the bill, a much lower standard than "recklessness."

Bird was shaken with emotion after the Senate vote. "I broke down and cried," she admitted. "I normally never let these kind of [legislative] battles get to me."

"What really sucks is that we had three supposed allies in the Senate, three [Democratic] women, who voted for the bill," Bird said, adding she didn't yet know why the three senators switched votes.

Marina Lowe is legislative and policy counsel for the ACLU of Utah. She worked in tandem with Bird on trying to derail or at least mitigate the worst aspects of the bill. Lowe says at this point she doesn't know if there is a potential constitutional challenge to the law once it is signed by the governor.

But she points to cases like the one in Iowa as exactly the kind of situation that might arise once this law is put into place.

Paltrow says this bill puts a lie to the idea that the pro-life movement cares about women.

"For all these years the anti-choice movement has said 'we want to outlaw abortion, not put women in jail, but what this law says is 'no, we really want to put women in jail.'"


Thursday, February 18, 2010 

DURHAM, N.C. --  North Carolina police responding to a domestic violence call have arrested the woman who falsely accused three Duke University lacrosse players of rape.

WRAL-TV reported 33-year-old Crystal Gale Mangum was arrested late Wednesday on charges she assaulted her boyfriend.

Durham County jail records indicate Mangum is charged with attempted murder, arson, assault and battery, identity theft, communicating threats, damage to property, resisting an officer and child endangerment.

Durham police said they found Mangum and 33-year-old Milton Walker fighting. Police said Mangum went into a bathroom and set some clothes on fire in a bathtub.

Three children were in the house, but no one was hurt.

Mangum was in jail Thursday morning, with no attorney yet.

Just like with Amy Bishop, this is what happens when female criminals get the pussy pass and feel free to continue committing felonies.