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Councilors mull virginity as criteria for enrollment | The Jakarta Post

Posted: September 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Councilors mull virginity as criteria for enrollment | The Jakarta Post

A seriously misguided Indonesian legislator, Bambang Bayu Suseno, has proposed that access to public education be restricted only to girls who’re virgins. I wish I were exaggerating, but I'm not. According to a report by Jon Afrizal, Suseno asked, "Why are girls who lose their virginity allowed to go to public school?" Clearly, Mr. Suseno is suffering from a poor education in the matters of basic human rights, which guarantees every human being the right to access public education whether they are a virgin or not.

His rationale? "Parents are obviously afraid of their daughters being deflowered before the time comes, so [girls] can undergo the virginity test and automatically protect their dignity." Um. What about boys? And, human rights violations aside, exactly how virginity will be determined is unsurprisingly undefined. This is yet another example of the harm caused by sexist notions of purity.

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What’s With All the Emasculating Campaign Rhetoric? — Daily Intel

Posted: September 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on What’s With All the Emasculating Campaign Rhetoric? — Daily Intel

America's culture war between social conservatives trying to co-opt feminism to support anti-women policies and social progressives who think that's pretty low is back in full swing so it comes as no surprise that, in this year's midterm elections, many shoddy candidates are using gender-policing language prominently in their campaigns. Dan Amira compiles not 1, not 2, not 3, but 5 blatant national examples of emasculation rhetoric.

The sexist rhetoric is strongest, obviously, from the Tea Party favorites, such as Sarah Palin's endorsement of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's for having the "cojones" that she thinks President Obama lacks (and somehow Palin is still against trans equality?), Carl Paladino's similar jab at Andrew Cuomo, and Christine O'Donnell's urging for her establishment Republican opponent Mike Castle to "get [his] man-pants on." Although only slightly more subtle than the blatant racism the Tea Party embodies, the sexist views are also clearly just under the surface.

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CV Harquail: Separate Still Isn’t Equal: Sexism Among TED Conferences

Posted: August 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

The influential TED conference recently announced a one-off event called TEDWomen after mounting criticism that the TED stage is overwhelmingly male-dominated. CV Harquail says only 17% of TED speakers are women, and calls the TEDWomen conference a display of "simplistic, outdated, and unenlightened thinking." With a separate conference for women, she says TED "demonstrates the very discrimination it is supposed to address."

Indeed, separatism can easily be viewed as segregation. According to Harquail, "Once upon a time, it made sense to create separate conferences for women. Women thinkers and activists were so marginal, so subordinated, and so far from the public platform that separate conferences were virtually the only way to create space for women to present, discuss and promote their ideas." But for TED, she says it's inappropriate.

The root issue of gender inequality of TED speakers remains, but women-only spaces can still be valuable. Can TED have the best of both worlds?

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