If you buy the products airbrushing is used to advertise, you won’t look like the person in the photograph.
It’s used to smooth lines, hide blemishes, lighten skin, slim features, lengthen limbs, and brighten eyes and teeth.
It exists to sell a fantasy to the consumer that this “perfection” is indeed possible. If you have yet to achieve this beauty standard, it tells you, you should buy some expensive products immediately, because then you will look like the person in the photo. (But, as I said just a moment ago, you won’t.)
When Laura Bates created the Everyday Sexism Project in 2012, I remember thinking if only it had come 40 years earlier, and wondering what we would have reported if it had. Since then more than 150,000 women and girls have posted their personal experiences of sexism on the forum, and public shock at this sheer volume of testimony has done a great deal to galvanise the new feminist resurgence we see today. Bates’s project can look like #MeToo’s twin sister — online, inclusive, contemporary — but it has been sobering to see how many of the experiences posted today could just as easily have been logged when I was at school.
What I do not recognise from the 1980s, however, is a subgenre of sexism that Bates encounters again and again when she visits schools to talk to teenagers. It makes no difference if the school is private or state, co-ed or single sex, in the south or the north; everywhere she goes, boys say the same things. “Rape is a compliment, really,” they tell her. “It’s not rape if she enjoys it.” “It’s normal for girls to cry during sex.” “A girl has to have sex with you if you’re her boyfriend.” Why does Bates even bother talking about consent and assault, they demand, “when everyone knows so many women lie about it”?
Federal agents are preparing to indict a New York woman who, for two years, sold abortion pills to more than 2,000 people. Mother Jones reports that in May 2016, Ursula Wing discreetly began selling abortion pills, mifepristone and misoprostol, on her blog, Macrobiotic Stoner, where she had written about “terminating her own pregnancy with pills she’d bought online, and women regularly posted comments asking for help to do the same.” Wing offered them without any consultation or prescription for $85, and soon became invested in the work:
While filling them, she corresponded with many more women—a teenager afraid to tell her parents she was pregnant, a woman hiding her abortion from an abusive partner, another who wrote that she wore the necklace included in her package to remind her of what she had been through. One woman, Wing recalled, told her she was doing “God’s work.” Wing had thought hers was one in “a sea of websites offering this,” but she came to see just how few options the women who contacted her had. “It started changing into something political,” she says. “I felt very obligated.”
Several senior French journalists have been suspended or fired for allegedly co-ordinating online harassment through a private Facebook group.
The largely-male Ligue du LOL (League of LOL) mocked women, including other journalists, with rape jokes and photoshopped pornographic images.
Dozens of women have spoken out since the group was uncovered by the major French daily Libération.
Libération’s online editor Alexandre Hervaud is among those suspended.
People in the League of LOL set up anonymous Twitter accounts in order to harass prominent journalists, writers and activists – predominantly targeting women.
Vincent Glad, a well-known freelancer who also worked for Libération, admitted founding the group in 2009. He has also been suspended from the paper.
On Tuesday afternoon, elected officials in New York City gathered in front of City Hall to denounce the violent arrest of 23-year-old Jazmine Headley, which had happened the previous Friday while she and her 1-year-old son were waiting at one of the city’s public assistance offices. Headley’s arrest was captured in a hard to watch video taken by a bystander; in it, you can see a swarm of security guards and police officers surrounding her as she sits on the floor clutching her son Damone, repeatedly calling out, “They’re hurting my son!” before an officer ripped the one-year-old out of her arms. At one point, an officer takes out a bright yellow taser and waves it around at the people watching in horror.
In the days that followed, the consequences had continued to compound for Headley, who did nothing to provoke the reaction of the Human Resource Administration security guards and NYPD officers except, perhaps, commit the sin of being black and in need of childcare assistance and a place to sit. The Brooklyn district attorney had dropped all charges against Headley, but as of Tuesday afternoon, she was still being held, without bail, at Rikers Island, the city’s jail, as a result of an outstanding warrant related to a credit card fraud case in New Jersey.
Federal inspectors conducted an unannounced visit of an immigration detention center in southern California and found “serious violations” throughout the facility, where guards improperly placed adult inmates in disciplinary segregation and ignored more than a dozen “nooses” fashioned out of bedsheets.
The report, conducted by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, also showed that medical staff at the Adelanto, Calif., facility disregarded federal regulations governing the treatment of inmates by doing only cursory checks of inmates and making them wait months, sometimes years, to receive basic dental care, leading to tooth loss and “unnecessary extractions.”
The piece is fantastic; communicating the everyday inhumanities experienced by fat people. The list is long and depressing: bullying in childhood and beyond (cruelty as young as three, the article reveals), partnering with a person you’re not attracted to just to feel desired, being fired or unable to progress in a career or company, having a doctor celebrate your eating disorder as a means to lose weight, the internal struggle to separate self-worth from size, hiding eating behaviors from co-workers and loved ones, and so on.
We’ve known for years that bias against the overweight prevents us from seeking necessary medical attention, as well as misdiagnoses. It ultimately, unfortunately, leads to a near total distrust in doctors—unless, of course, you are equipped to find a fat-positive provider, one that recognizes the failure of the BMI-based system (which is a luxury afforded to the wealthy). The latter point brings about a question of intersectional fat-positivity: both in socioeconomic privilege and in racial discrimination.
It was 12 months before Benjamin’s mother passed away and his husband applied for an extension to his six-month visa on compassionate grounds but this was refused.
Now Benjamin’s father is battling lung cancer and Brian says he refuses to leave his husband who fell into a “deep, dark depression” after the bereavement.
Valerie, Rachel, Nancy and Victoria all suffered abuse at the hands of their partners.
They are among the estimated 1.9 million men and women who experienced domestic abuse in England and Wales in the year ending in March 2017. Abuse in all forms – mental and physical – can come from partners, siblings, parents or children.
These four women reflect on the experience of being unsafe in their own homes.
A Labour MP is trying to change the law so that misogynistic behaviour is treated as a hate crime.
Stella Creasy wants to amend new legislation that bans taking unsolicited pictures under someone’s clothing.
Her changes would mean someone convicted of the crime could get a tougher sentence if it was “motivated by misogyny”.
MPs will consider the draft legislation on Wednesday.