Tag Archives | Women

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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Egyptian Women Forced To Take ‘Virginity Tests’

Egyptian women waiting in line to vote on the 2011 Constitution ReferendumPhoto: Mona (CC)

Women in line to vote at 2011 Egyptian constitution referendum. Photo: Mona (CC)

Via Amnesty International:

Amnesty International has today called on the Egyptian authorities to investigate serious allegations of torture, including forced ‘virginity tests’, inflicted by the army on women protesters arrested in Tahrir Square earlier this month.

After army officers violently cleared the square of protesters on 9 March, at least 18 women were held in military detention. Amnesty International has been told by women protesters that they were beaten, given electric shocks, subjected to strip searches while being photographed by male soldiers, then forced to submit to ‘virginity checks’ and threatened with prostitution charges.

‘Virginity tests’ are a form of torture when they are forced or coerced.

“Forcing women to have ‘virginity tests’ is utterly unacceptable. Its purpose is to degrade women because they are women,” said Amnesty International. “All members of the medical profession must refuse to take part in such so-called ‘tests’.”

[Continues at Amnesty International]

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Study Claims Ogling Women Makes Them Worse at Math

Simpsons CuriesI wonder what the first person to win two Nobel prizes, Madame Curie, would make of this study. Oh, I know the answer from a classic Simpsons episode ... Stephanie Pappas writes on LiveScience:
Getting the once-over from a man causes women to score lower on a math test, a new study finds. Despite this drop in performance, women were more motivated to interact with men who ogled them, perhaps because they were trying to boost their sense of belonging, psychologists report in the February issue of the journal Psychology of Women Quarterly. "It creates this vicious cycle for women in which they're underperforming in math or work domains, but they're continuing to want to interact with the person who is making them underperform in the first place," study researcher Sarah Gervais, a psychologist at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, told LiveScience.
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Who’s Afraid of a Beautiful Woman?

Marilyn MonroeVia the First Church of Mutterhals:

There’s some exhibit at a museum in Pittsburgh featuring never before seen photos of Marilyn Monroe. Now, I’m not some retrograde star fucker who pines for the golden age of Hollywood when all the men were either latent homosexuals or confirmed rapists and all the women were hopped up on pills. But seeing Monroe’s ethereally beautiful mug plastered all over this city quickly became one of a few bright spots on my otherwise dreary morning commute.

To my horror, this morning I saw that someone defaced one of the billboards touting the exhibit. Under the copy, in awkward, sloppy lettering, stood the hastily spray painted profundity ‘women are not objects’ followed by some bastard amalgam of an anarchy sign and the symbol for female. I guess the self defense class let out early last night and someone was feeling frisky.

I’d like to address the trog that wrote this, or in the very least some of her proxy sisters.… Read the rest

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Collective Intelligence: Number of Women in Groups Linked to Effectiveness in Solving Difficult Problems

I must admit, I considered facetiously titling this “Women Are Collectivists, and Collectivism Works.”  From ScienceDaily:

Many social scientists have long contended that the ability of individuals to fare well on diverse cognitive tasks demonstrates the existence of a measurable level of intelligence in each person. In a study published Sept. 30, in the advance online issue of the journal Science, the researchers applied a similar principle to small teams of people. They discovered that groups featuring the right kind of internal dynamics perform well on a wide range of assignments, a finding with potential applications for businesses and other organizations.

“We set out to test the hypothesis that groups, like individuals, have a consistent ability to perform across different kinds of tasks,” says Anita Williams Woolley, the paper’s lead author and an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business. “Our hypothesis was confirmed,” continues Thomas W.

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The Drug Industry Conspired to Pathologize Low Sex Drive in Women for Profit

From ScienceDaily:

Drug companies have not only sponsored the science of a new condition known as female sexual dysfunction, they have helped to construct it, in order to build global markets for new drugs, reveals an article in the British Medical Journal.

Researching his new book ‘Sex, Lies and Pharmaceuticals’ Ray Moynihan, journalist and lecturer at the University of Newcastle in Australia, discovered that drug industry employees have worked with paid key opinion leaders to help develop the disease entity; they have run surveys to portray it as widespread; and they helped design diagnostic tools to persuade women that their sexual difficulties deserve a medical label and treatment.

He believes that “drug marketing is merging with medical science in a fascinating and frightening way” and he asks whether we need a fresh approach to defining disease.

He quotes a company employee saying that her company was interested in “expediting the development of a disease” and he reveals how companies are funding surveys that portray sexual problems as widespread and creating tools to assess women for “hypoactive sexual desire disorder.”

Many of the researchers involved in these activities were drug company employees or had financial ties to the industry, writes Moynihan.

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Inside Story: Delightful Deliveries

[disinformation ed.’s note: the contributor dug deep in the crates for this 2006 story]

Giving birth was an orgasmic experience for one woman, says Anastasia Stephens, writing in the Times:

For Katrina Caslake, 44, giving birth was not the terrifying, painful ordeal most women experience. Far from it. The midwife, from Wallington, South London, says she found it blissful, even orgasmic.

“I found giving birth very sensual,” says Caslake, who didn’t take painkillers for the birth of her two sons, Aaron, 18, and Tomas, 17. “All my erogenous zones were stimulated. And I had a definite climax. I was doing the most feminine thing a woman can do and it felt fantastic.”

It was her “pleasurable experience” that led her to train as a midwife. “I knew I wasn’t unique,” says Caslake, who helps to run Yours Maternally, an independent midwifery service. “By encouraging women to trust and relax in their bodies during birth, I can help them to experience less painful, more pleasurable births.”

It’s an approach that’s also encouraged at the Birth Centre, in South London, where Nathalie Mottershead, a midwife, encourages sensual birth.

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