FEMINISM - Female boxers are a rarity. Female athletes in general seems to be a rarity.
So when I heard a female boxer has been banned from fighting - because of her breast implants - I thought, well, what should we make of that?
Sarah Blewden, 25, has been told that repeated blows to her false breasts could knock them out of shape and damage her breast tissue. She was stunned when she was told she wasn’t allowed to fight under Queensbury rules due to her implants.
A medical expert from the association said Sarah’s chest was at risk of ‘capsular contracture’ or distortion if they were repeatedly hit. Blood cells in the breast tissue pushed forward by the implants could also be harmed, the medical expert ruled. Sarah said: ‘I think it is just ridiculous. My surgeon said they make me no more vulnerable than any other woman. They are not enormous ones - they are in proportion.'
These are not 'huge' breast implants as you can see from the photos. She got them because her breasts looked deformed and she wanted a more natural look (that's right, breast implants that look normal).
Technically speaking breast implants are very difficult to break or get dislodged, and as it stands many female boxers wear protective gear over their breasts to prevent regular injury.
INTERESTING POINT: There are a lot of male boxers with pec implants to make them look more buff, but none of them have been banned for the same reason that Sarah Blewden is being banned for.
So is this really a worry about injury? Sarah Blewden evidently is confident enough that her breasts won't be injured and is willing to take that risk that she's wrong. And even they did somehow get damaged, she could easily have surgery to fix the problem.
Male boxers with pec implants are also confident their implants won't be damaged either.
So why the double standard?
Its because women are supposed to be beautiful, and female athletes are often discriminated against in sports because they're worried about the marring of female beauty.
The sentiment is nice, but its not necessary. We girls can take care of ourselves.
Sarah Blewden still hopes to box in the 2012 Olympics in London.
Sport in a Masculinist World
Gender Biases in School Sports
Weightlifting for Women
The Often Misunderstood She-Hulk
You throw like a girl!
FEMINISM - Female boxers are a rarity. Female athletes in general seems to be a rarity.
ENTERTAINMENT/HEALTH - Ursula Andress is the original James Bond girl, but she is hardly the stereotypical image of the osteoporosis sufferer. Andress is the iconic Bond Girl, emerging from the Jamaican waters like mythical Venus in the 1962 film 'Dr. No', complete with a knife tucked into her hip-belt.
Andress, 73-years-old, still looks to be around 60-something and unmistakable with her sharp cheekbones.
She is currently the spokesperson for 'Timeless Women: The Campaign for Stronger Bones', a program aiming to raise awareness of osteoporosis. It is a disease that weakens bones, making them more susceptible to breaks or fractures, usually in the hip, spine and wrist. It also reduces the body's ability to grow new bone tissue and repair micro-damage.
One in four women over the age 50 have osteoporosis. And it is surprisingly deadly, one out of five Canadians who fracture a hip will die in less than a year.
People as young as 25 can be affected by osteoporosis, as can men. One in six men over the age of 50 has osteoporosis.
"I have to accept the truth," says Andress. "Why would I want to hide it? If I can help other women I am happy to do it.
"It is important to reach the public. It is very important to create awareness and get a checkup (a bone-density test). I never took osteoporosis seriously: `Oh, it's an old-bone disease and can be cured with calcium.' It's a sickness and I was diagnosed at 60. I did the mammogram, blood-pressure test and they asked if I'd had a bone-density test. When they did it, they said, `On your left hip, we don't like that. Take this medication.'"
Staving off osteoporosis is best using a combination of exercise (especially weightlifting) and a high calcium diet. Sometimes that is not enough however.
"I was snow shovelling and I fell down. They told me then that I had osteoporosis. I had been taking extra calcium, and that wasn't enough."
For her condition, Andress intravenously takes an $800, annual dose of Aclasta, a medication that inhibits the release of calcium from bone. Before her fall, Andress thought she was warding off osteoporosis with calcium, but her lack of exercise had resulted in her body not absorbing all of the calcium she was eating.
Now Andress is on a huge exercise kick. "I don't do crazy things but I do certain exercises. I never go to the gym – I have a huge property and I work in the garden. I swim a lot; I have a pool. I walk so fast nobody can follow me. I don't lift weights except for 150 flower pots. And I do the lifting wrong. You are supposed to crouch down." Andress admits she should be doing more weightlifting but says "I am active and my freedom is so important. I will give up anything but my freedom. I need it to exist. I don't do anything more carefully. I hope not to fall but you never know: You go skiing, you fall."
Thankfully she doesn't ski any more.
"Dr. No was my first movie and they asked me what kind of gymnastics I do," she recalls. "I have never worked out in my life. I was born with an athletic body. As a child, I biked miles and miles to school and I did competitive swimming. I walk briskly but I do nothing with fanaticism."
Andress also appeared in over 30 films including Fun in Acapulco, What's New Pussycat?, The 10th Victim and Casino Royale (1967).
Andress was married to John Derek from 1957 to 1965, when he divorced her for younger actress Linda Evans.
Andress's advice for women getting older? Lots of milk and an active lifestyle.
QUESTION: Is Osteoporosis a feminist issue?
Yes, because its an issue of exercise and education. Women need to ignore the stereotypes about female athletes and go out there and exercise more.
Labels: health issues
FEMINISM/SEX - More women are going topless in an effort to make a living and find job security.
Pole dancing lessons are up dramatically, especially since the sex industry has started promoting it as an exercise regimen, but its not just people looking to get great abs, its women who are thinking twice about the best way they can support themselves financially in a job market where few companies are hiring.
At Chicago's Pink Monkey gentleman's club topless dancers make a couple thousand dollars a night, thus confirming a stereotype that the sex industry might be the only industry where women are paid more than men...
The tough job market and the American recession has a lot of women thinking twice about sex industry. Strip clubs, adult movies, posing for nude magazines, dominatrices, prostitution... they're always looking for new people.
Employers across the adult entertainment industry say they're seeing an influx of applications from women who are attracted by the promise of flexible schedules and fast cash. Many have college degrees and held white-collar jobs until the economy soured.
"You're seeing a lot more beautiful women who are eligible to do so many other things," says Gus Poulos, general manager of New York City's Sin City gentleman's club. He said he got 85 responses in just one day to a recent job posting.
Its not an easy industry to learn either. Learning to dance in five-inch heels and dealing with the jeers of some customers can be tricky. Some performers said they were initially so nervous that only alcohol could calm their nerves.
"It is like giving a speech, but instead of imagining everyone naked, you're the one who's naked," says one stripper.
Eva Stone, a 25-year-old dancer at the Pink Monkey, said dealing with occasional verbal abuse from patrons requires "a thick skin."
Stone, who has a bachelor's degree in graphic design, took up dancing four years ago to help pay her student loans. She plans to go to graduate school this year to pursue a master's degree in education.
Makers of adult films cautioned that women shouldn't rush into the decision to make adult movies without considering the effect on their lives. The stigma lasts forever.
"Once you decide to be an adult actress, it impacts your relationship with everyone," says Steven Hirsch, co-chairman of adult film giant Vivid Entertainment Group. "Once you make an adult film, it never goes away."
The women at the Pink Monkey say dancing at a strip club might not have been their first career choice, but they entered the business with their eyes wide open. The job gives them more control and flexibility than sitting in a cubicle, and "it's easy, it's fun and all of us girls ... look out for each other," says one stripper.
"Desperate measures are becoming far more acceptable," said Jonathan Alpert, a New York City-based psychotherapist who's has clients who work in adult entertainment.
For some, dancing is temporary, a way to pay for college loans or other bills. Others say they've found their niche and become professionals.
Dancers at the upscale Rick's Caberet clubs in New York City and Miami can make $100,000 to $300,000 a year – in cash – even with the economic downturn, says club spokesman Allan Priaulx. Right now 20 to 30 women a week are applying for jobs at the New York club, double the number of a year ago.
The industry isn't immune to the economic recession however. Business is down an estimated 30% across the board, including adult films, gentleman's clubs, magazines and novelty shops, according to Paul Fishbein, president of AVN Media Network, an adult entertainment company.
"In the past, people have said this industry is recession-proof," says Eric Wold, director of research for financial services firm Merriman Curhan Ford. "I definitely don't see that; maybe recession-resistant."
Strip club dancers and managers said they're drawing in the same number of customers, but fewer high rollers.
"They're not getting the big spenders," said Angelina Spencer, executive director of the Association of Club Executives, a trade group for adult nightclubs. "They're not getting the guys who come in and drop $3,000 to $4,000 a night anymore." Still that doesn't stop them, as low operating costs mean large profit margins.
It's almost impossible to estimate the size and strength of the adult entertainment industry because so few companies are publicly traded.
Rick's Caberet for example had $60 million in revenue in its 2008 fiscal year, up from $32 million the year before.
Larry Flynt, whose half-billion dollar Hustler empire publishes magazines, produces and distributes films and operates a casino, said he's continued to do well. But he doesn't expect those who are solely in the film business to survive.
Adult magazines also are struggling along with the larger publishing industry, and have to cut pages like everyone else as advertising revenues drop.
But still the women come looking for work.
Vivid Entertainment says the number of women in the business have doubled in the last couple years, with now roughly 800 women working as adult actresses.
BUT WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR WOMEN?
Well, the good thing is that these women stick together and watch out for one another. The last thing they need is an abusive pimp who tries to trick them into quitting the pole dancing and becoming a prostitute instead.
The other thing is the rate of drug abuse amongst strippers is significantly lower, compared to prostitutes. Part of this might be to other strippers keeping a close eye on their co-workers (and club owners looking to avoid legal problems).
The topless dancing industry is perhaps the least problematic of the different fields within the adult entertainment industry.
But what about the fact that women are being ogled and objectified?
Yes, that is true, and its certainly not the cup of tea for many women, including myself. In the reverse women do objectify men too, and even go to male strip clubs like Chippendales/etc.
And as it stands there are many places men go to ogle women... the internet, the beach, public pools, bars, clubs, art galleries... and we women are just as guilty at checking out the opposite sex.
As the economy improves we should see a decrease in the number of women looking for work in the adult entertainment industry.
Globalization, Sex & Profits
Feminism and Pornography - Sex and Censors
Tough Titties - Book Review
Feminist Perspectives on Sex Markets
Thai Families Selling their Children to the Sex Trade
Sex Trafficking in Burma and Thailand
Prostitution in Thailand and Southeast Asia
Trophy Boy Toys
The German highschool student who killed 15 people yesterday was deliberately targeting women.
Tim Kretschmer's motives are still unknown, but his victims were primarily female: eight of nine students killed were teenage girls, and all three teachers were women. Three men were killed later as the suspect fled and had a shoot out with police.
A 17-year-old schoolmate said he had been studying this year with Tim Kretschmer at a private business school, and described him as quiet and reserved.
The two played poker together, both in person and online, as well as a multiplayer video game called "Counter-Strike" that involves killing people to complete missions. Tim was quite good at the game apparently.
Based on Tim Kretschmer's choice of targets one would think he just hated women, like the École Polytechnique Massacre in which a gunman in Montreal killed 14 women and injured 10 other women and 4 men.
In that massacre, Marc Lépine deliberately separated the men from the women in the room and started executing the women. Lépine claimed he was "fighting feminism", while he shot all nine women in the room, killing six of them. Lépine then moved through corridors, the cafeteria, and another classroom, specifically targeting women to shoot.
In Lépine's suicide note he included a list of nineteen women whom he considered to be feminists and wished to kill.
Dealing with Anti-Feminism
Feminism vs. the Evil Lessers
NRA Subverting Feminism for Guns
Femicide in Guatemala & Canada
Gender Violence in Mexico
FEMINISM/RELIGION - Check out the video titled "The Violent Oppression of Women in Islam", produced by the 'David Horowitz Freedom Center' (an Israeli group that is promoting war against Islamic countries).
WARNING! THIS VIDEO IS EXTREMELY VIOLENT AND NOT RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN!
The video depicts the much-publicized horrors of repressive conservative Islam and tribal ways in Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan...
But does this justify invasions and war for oil, territory and other material gain on the broken backs of women who are stoned, whipped, beheaded, mutilated and murdered "for honour"?
Talk about usurping feminism.
Yes, the truth is women are treated horribly in conservative Islam. (Please note the differences between conservative, moderate and liberal Islam.)
But how will war fix that problem? The answer is it won't. In fact it only makes the problem worse because it polarizes/jades Islamic societies and they become MORE conservative.
The politicians in Washington, London and the Hague don't give a damn about women's rights in the Middle East. George W. Bush's so-called "war on terror" has paid only lip service to women's rights.
Female journalist Sally Armstrong from Canada and filmmaker Shelley Saywell have been spreading the truth about women's rights in Islam, but is there anybody doing anything about it?
Yes, there's a few education programs out there, training Muslim women to join the work force, become doctors/etc, but in a world where women are denounced and killed for being liberal and courageous, its very difficult and the programs are few and far in between.
In Iran, eight women currently face death by stoning, a torturous form of execution that can last half an hour or more.
In Saudi Arabia this week, a 75-year-old Syrian woman has been sentenced to 40 lashes, four months imprisonment and deportation for unlawful "contact" with two young men reportedly delivering bread to her. A woman can't even shake hands with a man without the risk of being denounced and executed.
Women in such countries are legally "chattel", like furniture and livestock, and may not mingle with unrelated men without the presence of a male family member. They're basically slaves.
Why aren't moderate Muslims denouncing these crimes? Because they're afraid of being executed too.
War is not the answer to these problems. Activism, training and jobs for women is the answer.
But before you get pissed off, remember that according to UNICEF: Every year, 500,000 Christian young women die in childbirth, mostly because they have no choice, no contraception, no access to reproductive medicine, and were far too young to be having children.
That is thanks to the dictates of the Vatican. Catholic women have one of the highest death rates for childbirth.
In Brazil last week, the doctors who performed an abortion on a 9-year-old girl who was pregnant with twins after years of "alleged" sexual abuse by her stepfather, were, along with the child's mother, excommunicated by the Catholic Church.
The child rapist however remains a good Catholic, according to the Vatican. Mind-boggling isn't it?
Never mind that the life of a child, whose body would not bear one fetus, let alone two, was at stake. Never mind the emotional and physical trauma the 9-year-old girl has already endured. Never mind that she had been sexually abused by her step-father since the age of 6, along with her disabled sister.
We have our share of religiously-supported violence against women in North and South America.
Why aren't moderate Roman Catholics denouncing these crimes? Because they're afraid of being excommunicated by the Vatican too.
Evidently its not just patriarchy that feminism should be worried about. Its FEAR.
Religion and the Rape of Children
Pakistani Teen murdered and her baby tossed into canal
Domestic Abuse in the USA
Virginity, Chastity and Muslim Beauty Queens
Taliban kill top Afghan policewoman
Killing Female Babies in India
The Truth about Rape Victims in Saudi Arabia
FEMINISM - Sunday March 8th is International Women's Day (in Canada and several other countries IWD is celebrated on March 7th). Around the world women will be gathering together to promote equality, better pay and an end to discrimination against women.
International Women's Day did not come about by chance but evolved under pressure. This pressure was brought to bear as women reacted to hardship experienced by female needle trade workers in New York City in 1908. Due to poor working conditions, several female workers in that trade perished in a fire. The tragic event led women in the needle trade to demand better working conditions, the right to be unionized and the right to vote. Their ideas gained momentum with wide acceptance of IWD on a global scale, in both developed and developing countries, since 1910.
WORLD WIDE PROBLEMS
Female Genital Mutilation
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), between 100 to 140 million girls and women worldwide are living with the consequences of female genital mutilation. In Africa, about 92 million girls age 10 years and above are estimated to have undergone the procedure - the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, the partial or complete closure of the vaginal opening, or other injury to the female genital organs as part of cultural, religious and social reasons. The procedures are mostly carried out on young girls, sometime between infancy and age 15.
Violence against Women & Femicide
The WHO reports that about 5,000 women are murdered by family members in the name of honour each year worldwide. See The Ten Worst Countries for Women.
Also, in a 10-country study on women's health and domestic violence conducted by WHO, between 15 per cent and 71 per cent of women reported physical or sexual violence by a husband or partner. See Femicide in Guatemala & Canada or Gender Violence in Mexico.
Stonings of Women
In countries like Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia the stoning of women is still highly practised. In one case in Nigeria, Safiya Hussaini Tungar-Tudu, a 30-year-old woman was ordered stoned to death for having sex outside marriage after asking a court to force a man that she alleged had raped her, to pay for her newborn daughter's naming ceremony.
IWD LOCAL EVENTS
If you live in a major city, check out the local events that feminists are doing tomorrow in your local city newspaper.
In Toronto Canada, Feminists are having a three part event on March 7th:
11 AM - Rally at OISE auditorium.
1 PM - March down Bloor Street and Yonge Street. See map.
1:30 PM onwards - Fair at Ryerson University, 55 Gould St.
FEMINISM/POLITICS - Is affirmative action a good thing?
But first, lets stop and ask what is affirmative action?
Affirmative action is about taking sex, race and ethnicity into account when giving people jobs. So for women in politics, affirmative action is hiring/electing more women for high and low ranking positions, so that the sex distribution is eventually roughly 50/50.
The point of affirmative action is to address social disadvantages so that equality is endorsed in the hopes that eventually people hire equal or proportional numbers of staff from different backgrounds.
But is affirmative action a good thing?
Lets say for example I have a job available for an assistant manager. I want someone with experience and don't want to promote someone within the company because none of them have the relevant skills/experience.
I narrow down the resumes to 4 candidates, one Caucasian female, one Caucasian male, one ethnic minority female and one ethnic minority male. They're all roughly the same so I have decide whom to hire which one is best suited for the company. Depending on the current ethnic/sex makeup of the company I could pick any which one of them. In theory if we have a shortage of white males (fat chance that will ever happen) I should hire him. Depending on the company however it is possible.
Typically the ethnic minority female should be the one hired, but if the company already has plenty of ethnic minority females maybe the Caucasian female or the ethnic minority male would be a better choice. Its all about balance and can sometimes be a difficult challenge.
If all else fails, stick their names in a hat and pick one randomly.
So affirmative action is usually good for women and minorities.
But what about the company? Does the company somehow benefit?
According to a new report from the Fawcett Society in the UK, yes they do.
Companies who hire equal numbers of women develop higher productivity, more profits and are more resistant to corruption and bankruptcy during times of recession. The report also discusses how women in the UK are currently dealing with the American recession and gives several possible solutions for addressing the inequality of women's pay and the lack of affirmative action in the UK.
One of the ideas is to fill government imposed quotas, similar to what Norway has done and has achieved remarkable success with.
In Norway, women's representation in boardrooms has soared from 6% to 44% since they first introduced quotas. The rule in Norway states that either gender may not exceed 60% of the workforce in public owned companies (ie. government buildings, utilities, etc). By enforcing this in public companies women get more experience, better resumes and this follows over into privately owned companies as those women take new positions later in life.
As a result of the changes Norway has seen a blossoming of its productivity in the workforce, with men and women realizing that if they want that promotion they're not just competing with the other men or the other women, but all the people... so if they really want that promotion they need to work harder.
The report's five point plan includes:
1. Promote women’s rights and stamp out discrimination.
2. Deliver a bold package to end pay discrimination.
3. Promote flexible working as a solution to the recession.
4. Fast-track women into decision making positions using quotas.
5. Ensure women’s skills are harnessed through education.
The real trick, for most industries, is that affirmative action is largely optional. Some industries just plain have a shortage of women who have studied that particular field (ie. engineering or physics).
But that could be addressed through university quotas, allowing in more female applicants wanting to study physics, engineering, etc.
OR, depending on the field of study, it could be addressed by getting rid of class size caps, allowing more of both women and men into the program.
The point I am making is that affirmative action can be used smartly, and actually benefits companies in terms of productivity/profits.
Women during Recessions
Jobs for Girls and Women
The Truth about Women's Work
Are High Heels a Detriment or a Benefit?
Male Hysteria at Work
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