March News Round Up!
Compiled by Rosie Cuppaige, Emma Di and Clara O’Loughlin.
This month’s news round up will feature in wom*news issue #4 –
“sex through a feminist lens” – out next friday!
▪ March 8 marked the 101st International Women’s Day! The Collective held a lovely little picnic on campus filled with cupcakes, strawberries and lollies smashed out of a Patriarchy Pinata. UQ also hosted events such as celebrating the forty years of gender and women’s studies at the university; around Brisbane, there was a rally in the city, the Feminism Rocks Festival and a fun run. (You can see photos from the picnic at our fb group!)
▪ Lauren Wolfe and Gloria Steinem co-wrote an article for the Guardian about the cult of masculinity and violence against women (specifically rape). The article was greeted with outright misogyny and anger, with men accusing the authors of suggesting that “all men are rapists”. The authors specifically went out of their way NOT to say this. Wolfe’s site was also hacked as a result.
▪ To Saudi Arabia – An investigation has been launched after at least fifty women were reportedly injured during a protest against discrimination and mismanagement at King Khalid University turned violent. Allegedly the women were injured due to the close mass of bodies involved. They were protesting about the lack of basic facilities at the university for women.
▪ After much public protesting from women, the Federal Government approved a Medicare rebate for PIP breast implant scans. PIP breast implants have recently been revealed to be made of unauthorised silicone products, causing many to become faulty and rupture. The rebate will allow women to start the first expensive step to getting these rupturing implants removed – however, it’s a long way off from the UK, where the government is paying for the removal of all ruptured implants. The Therapeutic Goods Administration has confirmed 171 reports of ruptured breast implants in Aus.
▪ It seems that all across like America this month, there’s been a common thread of men making legislation about women’s bodies and choice in the flurry of Republican elections. First, there was the panel of only men making decisions about female contraception – and now a disgusting and inhumane law has passed with the backing of governor Rick Perry. In further medical fuckery, a law in Texas has been passed outlining that once a woman decides she will have an abortion, “she first must typically endure an ultrasound probe inserted into her vagina. Then she listens to the audio thumping of the fetal heartbeat and watches the fetus on an ultrasound screen. She must listen to a doctor explain the body parts and internal organs of the fetus as they’re shown on the monitor. She signs a document saying that she understands all this, and it is placed in her medical files. Finally, she goes home and must wait 24 hours before returning to get the abortion.” Wrong in so many ways.
▪ It seems we’re getting a bit international for this month’s news round up! On a much more progressive note, feminists in Sweden had a protest against underarm hair hate on the internet by gathering and displaying their lovely hairy selves.
▪ Lastly, The Hunger Games film was released on the 22nd of March in Australia to much acclaim from critics and book-fans alike. Newcomers to the awesomeness will enjoy the lack of questioning if a sixteen-year-old girl can be as tough as boys – seriously, gender never comes into the story. All the girls and boys are as violent and sexualised for media purposes as each other in this dystopian future, where children are picked lottery-style by their oppressive government to fight to the death in a televised arena. The odds, it seems, are in feminists’ favour…
Author Unknown. (2012). Swedish Feminists Bare Pits To ‘Reclaim The Hair’. Retrieved March 19, 2012 from http://www.thelocal.se/39702/20120316/
Author Unknown. (2012). Medicare rebate for PIP breast implant scans approved. Retrieved March 20, 2012 from http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/medicare-rebate-for-pip-breast-implant-scans-approved/story-e6frg8y6-1226295713672
Author Unknown. (2012). Women ‘Injured’ in Saudi University Protest. Retrieved March 20, 2012 from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17304960
Kristof, N. D. (2012). When The States Abuse Women. Retrieved March 19, 2012 from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/04/opinion/sunday/kristof-when-states-abuse-women.html
Wolfe, L. (2012). How writing with Gloria Steinem about rape got me hated and hacked*. Retrieved March 20 from http://laurenmwolfe.com/?p=278