For all the food photos on Instagram, there are drastically fewer photos of people actually eating. In one sense, that’s logical: Not many of us think we look our best when we’re going to town on barbecue or housing a burrito. So the Instagram photos that do exist of people eating, especially people who identify as women, appear hyper-posed: a woman smiling behind an ice cream cone, or holding out her unicorn Frappuccino, or pointing to a giant slice of pizza. Rarely, though, is she ever actually eating said food. If we do see her eating the food, it’s often captioned as shameful/indulgent (“cheat day!”) or styled to look weirdly seductive.
Recorded rape offences have been rising in England and Wales, but the proportion of offences making it to court has fallen significantly over the past few years.
Police and prosecutors are asking complainants in rape cases to agree to hand their phones over or face the prospect of prosecutions being dropped – something victims’ commissioner Baroness Helen Newlove has said is “unlikely to do anything to help reverse the fall in prosecutions for rape and sexual violence”.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decides whether cases investigated by the police go to trial. In September 2018, it said the proportion of reported rapes being prosecuted had reached their lowest level in a decade.
It is hard to remember a moment in my lifetime when Britain faced a greater crisis. A coup led by a small group of rightwing libertarians is all but complete, as the Vote Leave team has been reassembled and taken control of 10 Downing Street. They are set upon implementing the most extreme no-deal version of Brexit – and, most terrifyingly, we are running out of time to stop them.
At times of national crises political leaders need to bring a country together. But that is not happening. The government is hellbent on creating more divisions, scapegoating our friends and neighbours, and ignoring the inequality and democratic deficit that fuelled the Brexit vote.
It is not only a crash-out Brexit that threatens our future. There’s the climate emergency too, and an unscrupulous leader would have no qualms about manipulating it to justify the sweeping aside of democratic guarantees and people losing their rights. We have to avoid this danger.
Protests against LGBT teaching at a Birmingham primary school are “homophobic” and must “stop now”, the West Midlands mayor has said.
Andy Street said he was in “disbelief” at material distributed by protesters outside Anderton Park Primary.
The mayor, who is gay, told the BBC he had thought homophobia was a “non-issue in our city”.
A High Court injunction is in place banning protests, which have been going on for months, outside the school.
Parents started to gather at the gates over concerns children were “too young” to learn about LGBT relationships. They also said the lessons contradicted Islam.
I can’t come here as a friend, even though I might very much want to.” These are the words of Andrea Dworkin, addressing an anti-sexist men’s organisation in 1983, in her acclaimed speech I Want a 24-Hour Truce in Which There Is No Rape. “The power exercised by men, day to day, in life is power that is institutionalised. It is protected by law. It is protected by religion and religious practice. It is protected by universities, which are strongholds of male supremacy. It is protected by a police force. It is protected by those whom Shelley called “the unacknowledged legislators of the world”: the poets, the artists. Against that power, we have silence.”
Dworkin, who died of heart failure in 2005 at the age of 58, was one of the world’s most notorious radical feminists. She wrote 14 books, the most famous of which was Pornography: Men Possessing Women (1981). Now her work is being revisited in Last Days at Hot Slit, a new collection of her writing.
In the wake of YouTube’s controversial decision not to pull videos containing homophobic and racist attacks, Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote an internal email acknowledging that “the LGBTQ+ community has felt a lot of pain and frustration over recent events.” While a few Google execs have already apologized for YouTube’s decision, Pichai’s email carries more weight given his position. The email, obtained by The Verge, also suggests that Google plans to conduct more internal discussions aimed at addressing its harassment policies.
It may just be another part of how we bid farewell at the end of the night. But it’s also a reminder of how, when we’re alone in a town or city at night, our safety is no guarantee.
While there’s much we can do to stay safe by taking sensible precautions, could our phones also help?
Yesterday morning, the anti-abortion group Live Action launched a Tweetstorm alleging that Pinterest was discriminating against it for its beliefs. The group, which rose to infamy with heavily edited Planned Parenthood undercover “sting” videos, said that it had been put on Pinterest’s domain “block list” and had its account permanently suspended for spreading “misinformation.” Lila Rose, Live Action’s founder, suggested that the group had been wrongly censored out of partisan bias.“Pinterest Logic: You can freely pin if you’re Planned Parenthood, an abortion provider,” she tweeted. “But if you’re a pro-life group & pin about the beauty & humanity of a baby in the womb, you’re banned bc you’re a threat to ‘Pinner’s health or safety.’”
Over the past few years, a slew of similar books has attempted to fill the yawning gaps left in recorded history regarding women’s contributions. Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo’s Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls and its sequel taught girls to aspire to something more than tiaras and coma-kisses. Books aimed at adults such as 100 Nasty Women of History, the Forgotten Women series, Bloody Brilliant Women and A History of the World in 21 Women inspired but also educated, focusing on the many pioneering women who were rubbed out of school textbooks. There are several more titles dedicated to the strides many wondrous, hitherto invisible women have made in specific fields, countries, and time periods. The Little Leaders children’s series, for example, profiles “bold black women” in history.