A Belgian weightlifter says dealing with transgender issues in sport is “impossible” but the presence of Laurel Hubbard in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games is “like a bad joke” to women athletes.

When the qualifying process for Tokyo ends tomorrow Hubbard will be guaranteed a place.

She is the first openly transgender athlete to qualify for the Olympic Games in any sport.

Until now, none of Hubbard’s rivals has spoken on the controversial rules that appear to give the New Zealander a huge and, to many, unfair advantage.

Athletes from the United States and Britain are potentially adversely affected but, understandably, they and their National Federations have shown no desire to comment on the controversy.

Anna Vanbellinghen of Belgium has broken the athletes’ silence with a considered statement on Hubbard’s achievement.

Vanbellinghen has a chance of qualifying in the same weight category, the over-87-kilogram super-heavyweights, and is therefore directly affected by the presence of Hubbard, who transitioned to female at the age of 35.

Others have voiced outrage at Hubbard’s presence in women’s sport, most often on social media, but Vanbellinghen is not making a personal criticism.

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When Lee Ye-rin (not her real name) received an expensive clock as a gift from her boss, she assumed he was just trying to be friendly. 

Despite being much older and married with children, Ms Lee’s boss had made some clumsy romantic overtures which had made her uncomfortable. 

She had rebuffed him. As they worked together, Ms Lee grew close to his family and believed he understood she wasn’t interested in him. 

The clock took pride of place in her bedroom for a while. But when she moved it to another room, something strange happened. 

Her boss confronted her and said if she didn’t want the clock, she never should have accepted it in the first place. 

“I found it strange, so I searched online about the clock,” Ms Lee said. 

She was horrified to discover it contained a state-of-the-art spy camera.

For more than a month, it had been streaming footage from the inside of Lee Ye-rin’s home to her boss’ mobile phone 24 hours a day. 

When she confronted him about the clock, Ms Lee said he was unrepentant. 

“Is that the thing you stayed up all night to search?” Ms Lee recalled him saying to her. 

He had been watching her even as she inspected the spying device he had tricked her into putting in her home. 

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You’re probably thinking that a talk called “Is there anything good about men” will be a short talk! Recent writings have not had much good to say about men. Titles like Men Are Not Cost Effective speak for themselves. Maureen Dowd’s book was called Are Men Necessary? and although she never gave an explicit answer, anyone reading the book knows her answer was no. Louann Brizendine’s book, The Female Brain, introduces itself by saying, “Men, get ready to experience brain envy.” Imagine a book advertising itself by saying that women will soon be envying the superior male brain!

Nor are these isolated examples. Alice Eagly’s research has compiled mountains of data on the stereotypes people have about men and women, which the researchers summarized as “The WAW effect.” WAW  stands for “Women Are Wonderful.” Both men and women hold much more favorable views of women than of men. Almost everybody likes women better than men. I certainly do.

My purpose in this talk is not to try to balance this out by praising men, though along the way I will have various positive things to say about both genders. The question of whether there’s anything good about men is only my point of departure. The tentative title of the book I’m writing is “How culture exploits men,” but even that for me is the lead-in to grand questions about how culture shapes action. In that context, what’s good about men means what men are good for, from the perspective of the system.

Hence this is not about the “battle of the sexes,” and in fact I think one unfortunate legacy of feminism has been the idea that men and women are basically enemies. I shall suggest, instead, that most often men and women have been partners, supporting each other rather than exploiting or manipulating each other.

Nor is this about trying to argue that men should be regarded as victims. I detest the whole idea of competing to be victims. And I’m certainly not denying that culture has exploited women. But rather than seeing culture as patriarchy, which is to say a conspiracy by men to exploit women, I think it’s more accurate to understand culture (e.g., a country, a religion) as an abstract system that competes against rival systems — and that uses both men and women, often in different ways, to advance its cause.

Also I think it’s best to avoid value judgments as much as possible. They have made discussion of gender politics very difficult and sensitive, thereby warping the play of ideas. I have no conclusions to present about what’s good or bad or how the world should change. In fact my own theory is built around tradeoffs, so that whenever there is something good it is tied to something else that is bad, and they balance out.

I don’t want to be on anybody’s side. Gender warriors please go home.

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This is entirely absurd.

An Oxfam staff training document says “privileged white women” are supporting the root causes of sexual violence by wanting “bad men” imprisoned.

In the wake of sex scandals that have rocked the charity, Oxfam has produced guidance which states that: “Mainstream feminism centres on privileged white women and demands that ‘bad men’ be fired or imprisoned”.

Accompanied by a cartoon of a crying white woman, it adds that this “legitimises criminal punishment, harming black and other marginalised people”.

It advises staff to read a controversial book which concludes: “Mainstream feminism is supporting, not undoing, the root causes of sexual violence.”

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Hours before Jo Phoenix, a professor of criminology at Britain’s Open University, was due to give a talk at Essex University about placing transgender women in women’s prisons, students threatened to barricade the hall. They complained that Ms Phoenix was a “transphobe” likely to engage in “hate speech”. A flyer with an image of a gun and text reading “shut the fuck up, terf” (trans-exclusionary radical feminist, a slur) was circulating. The university told Ms Phoenix it was postponing the event. Then the sociology department asked her for a copy of her talk. Days later it told her it had voted to rescind its invitation, and would issue no more. Ms Phoenix says she was “absolutely furious and deeply upset” about both the damage to her reputation and to academic freedom.

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Tajiks can be said are most suffered nation of former Soviet Union in latest quarter of century – bloody civil war, total economic collapse, massive labor migration, colossal corruption and lack of any freedom and hope. After husbands and fathers were killed or left to Russia or are unable to provide for the family anymore, women in many families of this conservative society had to leave home and seek for opportunities. On life of Tajik women the Central Asian Analytical Network talked with researcher Swetlana Torno, from the Heidelberg University in Germany.

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Crazy California laws occasionally go national. Take SB 132, which took effect in January. It allows transgender-identified male state prison inmates to transfer into women’s prisons based on “individual preference”—no hormones, surgery or time spent living as the opposite sex required. Spokeswoman Terry Thornton of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says 264 male prisoners have declared a nonmale identity and formally requested transfer to women’s facilities.

When I was forced to race male bodies on the track, colleges didn’t see the fastest female in Connecticut. They saw a second- or third-place runner.

Transgender women will be allowed to play women’s rugby in France from next season, the French rugby federation (FFR) announced on Monday in a ground-breaking decision that goes against the recommendations of World Rugby.

Rugby union’s global governing body last October banned trans women from the elite women’s game, citing fears of increased injury risks.

If you scroll through popular social media apps like Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, you’ll probably come across popular phrases and jokes like “men are trash” and “I hate men but…” videos.

Though these are clearly jokes, it sends a mixed message to young women on how we should view men in our lives. More harmful phrases like “kill all men” and “male tears” are also popular, drawing a clear line between comedy and misandry.

Unfortunately, misandry and feminism have become almost interchangeable over the past few years, which is truly sad because feminism is supposed to be about equality. This leads to the question: Have man-hating jokes gone too far?

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We estimated the degree of gender discrimination in Sweden across occupations using a correspondence study design. Our analysis of employer responses to more than 3,200 fictitious job applications across 15 occupations revealed that overall positive employer response rates were higher for women than men by almost 5 percentage points. We found that this gap was driven by employer responses in female-dominated occupations. Male applicants were about half as likely as female applicants to receive a positive employer response in female-dominated occupations. For male-dominated and mixed occupations we found no significant differences in positive employer responses between male and female applicants.

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Having a successful and enjoyable career alongside a fulfilling romantic relationship is a life goal for many of us. But even in the most gender-equal countries, finding a partnership that lasts is trickier for high-flying women than men.

In Sweden, which ranks first in the EU’s gender equality index thanks to factors like generous parental leave, subsidised daycare and flexible working arrangements, economists recently studied how promotions to top jobs affected the probability of divorce for each gender. The result: women were much more likely to pay a higher personal price for their career success.

“Promotion to a top job in politics increases the divorce rate of women but not for men, and women who become CEOs divorce faster than men who become CEOs,” summarises Johanna Rickne, a professor at Stockholm University and co-author of the research, which was published earlier this month in American Economic Journal.

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Sorry, can’t get behind this “moral” argument. Giving birth exists outside of morality, a special case. While ultimately a personal choice, it is a deeply primal animal right, one that morality should not attempt to disturb.

Last year, 300 women were murdered in Turkey, according to a women’s rights organization. The number of unrecorded cases could be far higher as femicides are often filed as suicides. 

Italians lived in some of the most medically sophisticated cities and states in early modern Europe, and were remarkably health literate. Abortion was a feature of the medical landscape. Healers at all levels of the medical establishment provided women and men with materials and services to terminate pregnancies and with health care afterward. But in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, this was becoming more contentious. Some theologians and moralists labeled practitioners who participated in abortions sinners and murderers. Theologically minded medical authors increasingly pronounced on the sinfulness of procured abortion, depicted it as contrary to medical ethics, and urged healers to abstain from its practice for both their own souls and the spiritual and physical well-being of their patients. While health boards did not unequivocally prohibit the medical practice of abortion, they increasingly tried to regulate it by means of legislation. Only physicians were officially permitted to induce abortions and only for reasons of medical necessity. All other healers who participated in abortions by selling drugs or letting blood from pregnant women without a physician’s prescription were threatened with fines and corporal or capital punishment should a woman die as a result of their interventions.

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Writing a novel—‘My Notorious Life’—about an orphan girl on the streets of New York in the 19th century, I came across the fascinating lost history of a “females physician,” who practiced for decades. Her name was Ann Lohman, alias “Madame Restell,” and she was known as “the wickedest woman in New York.” Why was she considered so wicked? Because she advertised and sold medicines that might cause miscarriage. If they didn’t, Madame would perform an abortion. Restell’s story was a wild one— of vast riches, sensational trials, riots, and the plight of many desperate women who used her services. This history was so compelling to me that my orphan girl protagonist grows up to share Madame’s profession, and my novel borrows details of Restell’s rip-roaring life. I came away believing that, far from being ‘wicked,’ Restell was an early pioneer of reproductive rights. My research led me to trial transcripts, old medical textbooks, newspaper headlines, and the advertisements that drew scores of women to Madame’s offices, women like Maria Bodine….

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Created on Jan 8, 2021
By @femme