Tag Archives | Women

Universe’s Biggest Mystery: Women

Stephen_Hawking

According to British scientist Stephen Hawking, anyway. From Reuters:

The biggest mystery in the universe perplexing one of the world’s best known scientists is — women.

When New Scientist magazine asked “Brief History of Time” author Stephen Hawking what he thinks about most, the Cambridge University professor renowned for unraveling some of the most complex questions in modern physics answered: “Women. They are a complete mystery.”…

[continues at Reuters]

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The Glaring Omissions Of iPhone’s Siri

Apple’s new iPhone 4S has made waves for its voice-commanded virtual assistant, personified as “Siri”. However, users have noticed that Siri seems to have a blackout concerning certain topics — is Apple pandering to the Christian Right? Via Amadi Talks:

The recent illustrations of Siri, the iPhone 4S voice-recognition based assistant, failing to provide information to users about abortion, birth control, help after rape and help with domestic violence has gotten a lot of notice.

Siri can answer a lot of health related questions perfectly well, why shouldn’t we expect it to be able to answer reproductive health related queries too? Why treat reproductive health as a walled-off garden that the general public can’t or shouldn’t be exposed to?

siri

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Thai Elects Yingluck Shinawatra As First Female PM

yingThai lawmakers have voted in their first female prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, whose political career began just a few months ago. The Bangkok Post reports:
Pheu Thai Party list MP Yingluck Shinawatra was elected Thailand's 28th prime minister by a majority vote in the House of Representatives on Friday morning. A total of 296 MPs voted in support of Ms Yingluck, the country’s first female prime minister, while three Democrat MPs voted against her, with 197 abstentions - including Ms Yingluck, the new speaker and one of his deputies, and most members of the main opposition parties, the Democrat and Bhumjaithai parties, and the four members of the Rak Thailand Party led by Chuvit Kamolvisit. The three Democrat lawmakers who voted against Ms Yingluck were Boonyod Sukthinthai, Watchara Phetthong and Attaporn Ponlaboot. The four MPs who did not attend the House meeting today were Ratchadaporn Kaewsanit, Khanchit Thapsuwan, Yukol Chanawatpanya and Sathit Pitutaecha, all Democrats.
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U.S. Approves Free Birth Control For Women

Photo: Ceridwen (CC)

Photo: Ceridwen (CC)

It’s a good time to be a woman. Via Reuters:

U.S. health insurance companies must offer women free birth control and other preventive health care services under Obama administration rules released on Monday, a historic decision supported by family planning groups and opposed by conservative groups.

The rules from the Health and Human Services Department are part of the nation’s healthcare overhaul and largely follow recommendations from an advisory group released last month.

The U.S. Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, commissioned by the Obama administration, recommended that all U.S.-approved birth control methods — including the “morning-after pill,” taken shortly after intercourse to stop a pregnancy — be added to the list of preventive health services.

[Continues at Reuters]

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Women Are Better At Everything

First group of Women Marine Officer Candidates 1943Really?!? Meredith Melnick explains for TIME:

Recently in the Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch columnist David Weidner noted that women “do almost everything better” than men — from politics to corporate management to investing.

Weidner cites a new study by Barclays Wealth and Ledbury Research, which found that women were more likely than men to make money in the market, mostly because they didn’t take as many risks. And why are they risk-averse? Because they’re not as overconfident as men, the study found.

The study’s findings backed up those of previous research on the topic: in a 2001 study [PDF] of 35,000 American households with an account at a discount brokerage, financial scholars Brad Barber and Terrance Odean found that women’s risk-adjusted returns beat men’s by 1% annually. A 2005 study by Merrill Lynch found that 35% of women held an investment too long, compared with 47% of men. More recently, in 2009, a study by the mutual fund company Vanguard involving 2.7 million personal investors concluded that during the recent financial crisis, men were more likely than women to sell shares of stocks at all-time lows, leading to bigger losses among male traders.

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Kansas: The First Abortion-Free State?

abortion-masterKansas is apparently set to become conservative Christianity’s Mecca. Via Mother Jones:

If new guidelines from the Kansas health department are enforced, the last three abortion clinics in the state could be forced to shut their doors this summer. A court fight over the rules is almost inevitable. But anti-abortion groups like Operation Rescue are already claiming success in making Kansas “the first abortion-free state.”

The state’s latest approach—with its remodeling requirements and so forth—is often referred to as “Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers.” TRAP laws are intended to make it difficult, if not impossible, for clinics to operate, and they have become increasingly common around the country.

The new requirements require facilities to add extra bathrooms, drastically expand waiting and recovery areas, and even add larger janitor’s closets, as one clinic employee told me—changes that clinics will have a heck of a time pulling off by the deadline. Under the new rule, clinics must also aquire state certification to admit patients, a process that takes 90 to 120 days, the staffer explained.

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Wal-Mart Rolls Back Discrimination Law Suit

Photo: Joey Caputo (CC)

Photo: Joey Caputo (CC)

Is Wal-Mart too big to sue? How will this and previous law suits against Wal-Mart effect the future of how other businesses deal with discrimination? Via MSNBC:

If you’re part of a group of employees working for a major U.S. corporation with a gripe about unfair treatment, your collective voices were potentially muffled Monday.

A key attempt to tackle inequality in the U.S. workforce suffered a major blow when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Wal-Mart — with its thousands of stores and millions of employment decisions — was too massive for a group of employees to sue for discrimination using class-action status.

Wal-Mart, according to a 5-4 decision by the high court, is just too big to sue. The court’s decision is a direct hit to women seeking parity in particular. Women now make up about half the U.S. workforce and that means no other minority group seeking a class action would likely constitute such a big block of employees at any one employer.

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Women Like Pink Because Of ‘Berry-Picking’ Past And Boys Like Green Because Of Their Hunting Ancestors

525px-HeteroSym-pinkblue.svgDo pinks and purples remind you of gathering berries? Do greens and blues remind you of hunting in the forest? Finding a reason other than cultural influence as to why genders seems to lean towards specific colors, scientists look to our past. Via Fiona Macrae at Daily Mail:

Girls really do prefer pink – and not just because it is pretty.

Scientists have shown that females are drawn to pinks and reds and men to blues and greens – and they believe the explanation lies our hunter-gatherer past.

As the gatherers of the operation, women’s brains became fine-tuned to the purples and reds of ripe fruits and berries.

The men, meanwhile, developed a preference for the clear blue skies that signaled good weather for hunting.

The theory comes from Chinese scientists who asked more than 350 students to study 11 colours for three minutes and then rank them in order of preference.

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Libyan Woman Who Was ‘Gang-Raped By Gaddafi’s Troops’ Gets Charged With Slander

800px-Protesting_Libya_outside_the_White_House,_Washington,_D.C.

Photo: Ted (CC)

The Daily Mail reports:

The Libyan woman who was arrested after telling foreign journalists she had been gang-raped by Gaddafi’s troops has been charged, a government spokesman said today.

In a chaotic press conference, the official said Iman Al-Obeidi was being questioned by police – despite a promise that she had been returned to her family.

‘The accuser has now become the accused,’ he added, accusing her of a ‘grave offence’.

The spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim, said the men accused by Iman al-Obeidi are now suing her. A son of a high ranking Libyan official was among those she claimed had raped her, he said.

‘The boys she accused are bringing a case against her because it’s a very grave offence to accuse someone of a sexual crime,’ he told reporters in the Libyan capital.

Miss Al-Obeidi was taken into custody after bursting into the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli in a dishevelled and desperate state.

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