Men Do See the Mess – They Just Aren’t Judged for It the Way Women Are

United States (Conversation) – On a typical day, men spend a third as much time cleaning as women. Does that make women beacons of cleanliness, while men are genetically unable to see the messiness in their midst? This myth is a common explanation for why men don’t do as much housework as women. Men walk into a room and apparently can’t see the dust bunnies gathering on the floor or the piles of laundry stacked up on the couch. It lets men off the hook for not doing their fair…

Read More

Women Inmates in Albania Create ‘Made in Prison’ Accessories

Albania (GV) – Made in Prison is a website that sells handmade products by female inmates of the Ali Demi prison in Tirana, the only prison for women in the Balkan country whose population totals 2,8 million. The project is an initiative by Orkidea (meaning “the orchid” in Albanian language), a local women’s rights NGO, and has received funds from the US Embassy in Tirana. Since its launch on March 8, 2019, the project has been endorsed by Albania’s Ministry of Justice and the General Directorate of Prisons. As of June 12, the inmates have produced 235 handmade…

Read More

Explainer: What Does ‘Gaslighting’ Mean?

World Wide (Conversation) – Shortlisted for the Oxford English Dictionary’s 2018 word of the year, “gaslighting” has well and truly found its way into contemporary thought and vernacular. The term has recently been employed to explain the behaviour of contestants on The Bachelor Australia, Monica Lewinksy’s experiences with the media post-Bill Clinton, and the words of US President Donald Trump. But what, exactly, does it mean? Where did it come from? And why is it experiencing a resurgence today? Gaslighting takes its name from the 1944 film Gaslight, starring Ingrid Bergman…

Read More

Rape and ‘the Rule of Law’ in Trump’s America

United States (Conversation) – In last week’s New York magazine, journalist E. Jean Carroll recounts her rape in a New York department store dressing room, some 23 years ago. “[He] opens [my] overcoat, unzips his pants, and, forcing his fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway —or completely, I’m not certain —inside me.” The alleged rapist? United States President Donald J. Trump. Carroll joins more than a dozen other women who have publicly accused the sitting president of sexual assault or harassment, with no consequences yet for Trump….

Read More

Climate Change: Bees Are Disorientated by Flowers’ Changing Scents

World Wide (Conversation) – Coffee, apples, honey – were it not for the precious work of pollinators, countless things that we eat and drink would not exist, totalling more than 30% of global food production. Most pollinators are insects, particularly from the bee family (close to a thousand species in France alone), along with butterflies and diptera, such as syrphids. Apart from helping feed humans, these insects also play a vital role in the reproduction of a wide variety of wild plants, fertilising them by transporting pollen from one flower to…

Read More

Israel Could Be the One to Strike First as Tensions With Iran Flare

United States (Conversation) – Iran shot down a U.S. drone on June 19, further escalating tensions between Iran and its adversaries. Relations with Iran have been worsening for months. In early May, one year after the United States withdrew from the nuclear deal negotiated in 2015 between Iran, the U.S., the European Union and five other countries, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that his country may also withdraw from the agreement, which limits its ability to develop nuclear weapons in exchange for lifting sanctions. In June, Rouhani announced that Iran…

Read More

How Colorado Halved Abortion and Teen Birth Rates

Colorado, United States (Yes) – Twelve years ago, unintended pregnancies among young women in Colorado was at a stubbornly high rate. Federally funded family planning clinics in the state had been providing free contraception to families who couldn’t afford them for four decades, yet six of every 10 women, ages 15 to 24, who had a live birth that year said their pregnancy had been unintended. In 2008, an anonymous donation allowed the state to expand family planning services and for the first time provide long-acting reversible contraception, such as IUDs…

Read More

Maryland Has Created a Truth Commission on Lynchings – Can It Deliver?

Maryland, United States (Conversation) – Between 1850 and 1950, thousands of African American men, women and children were victims of lynchings: public torture and killings carried out by white mobs. Lynchings were used to terrorize and control black people, notably in the South following the end of slavery. Yet despite the prevalence and seriousness of the practice, there has been an “astonishing absence of any effort to acknowledge, discuss, or address lynching,” reports the Equal Justice Initiative, the leading organization conducting research on lynchings. Until now. In April 2018, the…

Read More

Undocumented Immigration Into U.S., Especially From Mexico, Is Down

United States (Cronkite) – Undocumented immigration from Mexico has dropped so significantly over a decade that Mexicans no longer make up the majority of those living in the U.S. illegally, according to a Pew Research Center report. Mexicans make up less than half the total undocumented immigrant population for the first time in more than half a century, the report says. Arizona is among more than a dozen states showing a decline, with 220,000 fewer undocumented immigrants in 2017 than 2007. More undocumented people are leaving the U.S. than staying, the…

Read More

The Real Story of the Barbie Doll: Strong Female Leadership Behind the Scenes

United States (Conversation) – In marking the 60th anniversary of one of the world’s best-known toys, the Barbie doll, scholars and journalists have a wealth of angles to explore. The impact of the Barbie doll on girls’ body images and the spread of a stereotypical model of womanhood has been the subject of extended reflections. They can also focus on the American company that markets it, Mattel, and its current difficulties in dealing with more interactive toys. Yet one story that’s much less known is that of Ruth Handler, the…

Read More