Erm, Friday feminist roundup (31st May 2013)

Erm, Friday feminist roundup (31st May 2013)

I was away all of the bank holiday weekend, and slammed at work before that, so Sunday’s feminist round-up is today instead. Here we are:

– What happened in Ireland some months ago is happening in El Salvador now. A woman, whose foetus has no chance of survival, is not allowed to abort. It is likely that they will both die. A 22-Year-Old Woman Is About to Die for the Sake of a Fetus With No Chance of Survival—This Is “Pro-Life?” (alternet)

– In the biggest head-scratcher of the week, Louise Mensch is at it again with her brand of feminism – Reality based feminism? (unfashionista). According to Mensch, intersectionality is out and middle-class white women ignoring their privilege is in. That’s what’ll mobilise feminism again, apparently. staavers and glosswatch offer a take-down. (Updated to add: Laurie Penny also responds. Penny is, incidentally, one of those intersectional feminists who perplex Mensch so.)

– The Huffington Post (HT sociologicalruminations) discusses a study which examined the extent of sex trafficking among homeless youth in New York City. Headlines: In interviews with almost 200 randomly selected homeless youth over the last year, researchers at Covenant House and Fordham University found that almost half — 48% in total — of those who engaged in commercial sexual activity said they did it because they did not have a place to stay. Almost one out of every four homeless young people we interviewed were at some point in their lives either victims of trafficking or had engaged in survival sex (trading sex acts to meet basic needs like food or shelter). Kids who had a history of childhood sexual abuse, who lacked a caring, supportive adult in their life, and who had no means to earn an income were particularly vulnerable to such exploitation. Since Covenant House offers shelter and care to more than 3,000 youth in New York City each year, it is possible that we work with as many as 700 youth annually who have experienced trafficking or survival sex.

– Science Daily (another HT sociologicalruminations) cites a study which has found that women lie about sex in order to conform to gender expectations/ stereotypes/ norms. The important point, here, is that the same participants (293 college students between the ages of 18 and 25) would not lie about other gender-related behaviours: “Sexuality seemed to be the one area where people felt some concern if they didn’t meet the stereotypes of a typical man or a typical woman.” [...]  But for non-sexual behaviors, the participants didn’t seem to feel any added pressure to respond in stereotypical ways for their gender.”

– And another research study: 93% of college women admit to engaging in negative discussion about their bodies – “fat talk” (blogs.nytimes).

– I’m sure the “feminism is dead” argument happened again somewhere on the internet this week. I missed it (again) thank the gods but, in case you happened upon it and are looking for some refutes, have this: Four Men On Fox Explain Why More Breadwinning Moms Will Destroy Society (video, via echidneofthesnakes). Their main argument: When you look at biology, look at the natural world, the roles of a male and female in society, and the other animals, the male typically is the dominant role. The female, it’s not antithesis, or it’s not competing, it’s a complimentary role. We as people in a smart society have lost the ability to have complimentary relationships in nuclear families, and it’s tearing us apart.

- By the way, you may be interested in this research also: Mothers Are the Sole or Primary Provider in Four-in-Ten Households with Children; Public Conflicted about the Growing Trend (pewcentre). Take that Four Men on Fox!

That’s it for now. Normal service will be resumed (for a while) on Sunday.