Anti-Rape Devices May Have Their Uses, but They Don’t Address the Ultimate Problem

World Wide (Conversation) – Crime prevention initiatives targeting sexual violence are by no means new. But as technology advances and costs decrease, we are seeing an abundance of digital and technological strategies emerge. Last month, an invisible anti-groping stamp sold out within an hour of its launch in Japan. The stamp can be used by victims to mark someone who gropes them on public transport. This mark can only be seen when a black light (that comes with the device) is cast over it. But we need to ask: are…

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Connecting With Centuries-Old Stories About Women’s Painful Struggles

World Wide (Conversation) – This is an edited extract from a chapter in the recently published “Teaching for Change”. In 2016 female students at South Africa’s universities started the #EndRapeCulture campaign to mobilise against the pervasive culture of sexual violence on the different campuses. In Stellenbosch the campaign was marked by two striking occasions. One evening in April 2016, the fire alarms went off at 2am across the Stellenbosch University campus. This was to signal the message that the student community would no longer be silent about their fellow students…

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Misrepresentations Regarding Soviet/US Roles in WWII and the Cold War

INTRODUCTION The Soviet Union contributed more than did any other nation to the defeats of Germany and Japan in World War II, but America and Britain together defeated Italy. Many prominent Western ‘historians’ white-out the Soviet roles in defeating Hitler and especially Hirohito, and they overstate the importance of America’s victories to the ultimate outcome, and ignore or underplay Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s strong rejection and repudiation of Winston Churchill’s imperialistic agenda, not only for a continuation of empires, but for a continued postwar exploitation of colonies, as being acceptable goals…

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Misogyny, Male Rage and the Words Men Use to Describe Greta Thunberg

World Wide (Conversation) – Detractors have dismissed Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg – a Nobel Prize nominee – as mentally ill, hysterical and a millennial weirdo after she pleaded with world officials last week to address the climate crisis. Here, two researchers explain the stereotypical labels deployed by critics to undermine Thunberg’s call to action, which the activist herself has described as “too loud for people to handle”. Camilla Nelson, Associate Professor in Media, University of Notre Dame Greta Thunberg obviously scares some men silly. The bullying of the teenager…

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Not Convinced on the Need for Urgent Climate Action? Here’s What Happens to Our Planet Between 1.5°C and 2°C of Global Warming

World Wide (Conversation) – Many numbers are bandied around in climate emergency discussions. Of them, 1.5°C is perhaps the most important. At the Paris Agreement in 2015, governments agreed to limit global warming to well below 2°C and to aim for 1.5°C. By 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – the UN body tasked with relaying the science of climate breakdown to the world – had made worryingly clear in a special report how much graver the consequences of the higher number would be. Together with the University of…

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When Does The Line Get Crossed?

“Come writers and criticsWho prophesize with your penAnd keep your eyes wideThe chance won’t come againAnd don’t speak too soonFor the wheel’s still in spinAnd there’s no tellin’ whoThat it’s namin’For the loser nowWill be later to winFor the times they are a-changin’”- Bob DylanOn Our Cultural Zeitgeist, Civil Disobedience, and How to be anEffective Dissident “It is to Madame Justice that I dedicate this concerto, in honor ofthe holiday that she seems to have taken from these parts, and inrecognition of the impostor that stands in her stead.”- V…

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New Report Details 10 ‘Critical Transitions’ to Tackle the Climate Crisis and Feed the World

World Wide (CD) – The ways humanity produces and consumes food cause up to 30 percent of planet-warming emissions, generate widespread malnutrition, and perpetuate poverty and inequality—but a new report released Monday claims that 10 global transformations over the next decade could help the international community tackle the climate crisis and feed over nine billion people. The report, Growing Better: 10 Critical Transitions to Transform Food and Land Use (pdf), comes from the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU), which launched in 2017 to bring together organizations representing key actors—from business and civil…

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How Useful is the “Unemployment Rate”? Five Humans Who Don’t “Count”

United States (FEE) – The official “unemployment rate” in the US is nearing historic lows, according to a recent announcement. For young readers, especially, this may come as a surprise. You may see your friends and family struggling to find enough well-paying work to make ends meet, and you may have personally experienced the frustration of wanting a job but not finding one. Your experience may not be as out of the ordinary as the official numbers indicate. The “unemployment rate” is the result of assumptions and calculations by the…

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Australian Women May Find It Tougher to Get an Abortion Soon

Australia (Conversation) – If the Religious Discrimination Bill passes into law, women may find it harder to get an abortion. That’s because health practitioners with an objection to performing the procedure on religious grounds may have stronger legal protection and may not be compelled to refer women to an alternative provider. This may lead women to consult multiple services, if available, before finding a doctor willing to perform the procedure. Who does the bill cover and where? In the new bill, the term “health practitioner” has a broad meaning. It…

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Why ‘Macho Culture’ Is Not to Blame for Violence Against Women in Mexico

Mexico (Conversation) – In recent weeks, hundreds of women have taken to the streets of Mexico City protesting against murder, rape and other violence against women in Mexico. Many commentators blame “macho culture” for the violence they are so furious about. In the first half of 2019 alone, 1,835 women were murdered in Mexico, according to Mexican geophysicist María Salguero, who is mapping the violence. In these accounts, macho culture seems to refer to a social climate which facilitates or rewards macho attitudes and behaviours. Following the stereotype, in a…

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