Consuming Women. The first lap dancing club in the UK opened in 1995. Since then lap dancing has become part of mainstream culture, with the 300+ lap dancing clubs nationwide visited by well-known figures such as Stephen Hawkings and Rihanna. Jennifer Hayashi Danns, 28, worked as a lap dancer for two years whilst studying at university. She spoke to Ian Sinclair about the industry and her new book Stripped: The Bare Reality of Lap Dancing, which she co-authored with Sandrine Leveque from feminist campaigning group OBJECT. What factors have driven the rapid increase in lap dancing clubs in the UK? Many feminist groups believe that the rise in lap dancing clubs is related to a piece of legislation that allowed lap dancing clubs to open under the same licensing regulations as cafes or karaoke bars.
However, this can only be part of the reason for their proliferation. The reason that I ended up writing this book was because of my perception of the depictions of the lap dancing industry in the media. Gender & the Middle East. Mapping the (In)Visibility of Gender in Politics and International Relations « The Disorder Of Things. Do elite institutions teach the global politics of gender and sexuality on any scale or in any depth? Emma Foster, Peter Kerr, Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Byrne and Linda Åhäll (all of Birmingham, at least when they did the research) have an Early View piece up at The British Journal of Politics and International Relations addressing just this question. Surveying the course content of the 16 top Politics and IR Departments in the UK (‘top’ meaning either in the top 10 in student satisfaction scores or in REF scores), they give some empirical confirmation of what many of us might have known anecdotally: Our ﬁndings…show, in our view quite strikingly, that few political science and international relations departments offer extensive or in-depth coverage of gender and sexuality issues.
Of 629 modules in IR and Politics identified across those Departments, only 9 existing full modules related to gender or sexuality (increasing to 12 if Aberystwyth’s ‘forthcoming’ courses are included). Beauty and the New Lego Line For Girls. Cross-posted at Ms. A few years back we published this fantastic ad for Legos as an example of gender-neutral advertising. It appeared in 1981; during my childhood, I’m happy to say. The ad offers nice context for the new effort by Lego to capture The Girl Market.
Their new line of Legos, Lego Friends, has gotten a lot of attention already. The new line also includes a new Lego figurine that is taller, thinner, and more feminine, with boobs. Examples of the old “mini-fig” and the new “mini-doll”: (source) The company is framing their new line for girls with “science.” But it’s no accident that girls feel alienated from Lego. According to Business Week, Lego has spent most of the last decade focusing their products on boys. So, basically, what Lego has done over the last few decades is take a truly wonderful gender-neutral toy, infuse it with boyness, and tell every kid who’ll listen that the toy is not-for-girls.
(An ad that deserves being looked at over and over.)
Women, democracy and dictatorship. The electoral success of Islamic parties in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco, has raised worries about policy and legislation on family and gender issues, this despite re-assuring noises from leading figures. Earlier electoral successes of Islamists in Iraq had brought about a disorderly mix of family policies and rule of disparate religious authorities, accompanied by much constraint and intimidation. This may be a good time to reflect on the record of various Middle Eastern countries on these issues over the course of the twentieth and twenty-first century and their relations to political regimes. In the early and middle decades of the twentieth century it was always dictators who embarked on policy and legislation which liberated and empowered women in both family and society. Ataturk started the process in Turkey, followed by Reza Shah in Iran, a model followed less boldly by some Arab leaders in later decades. Flickr/Al Jazeera English.
Some rights reserved. Demotix/Luke Somers. Women and Culture. Soraya Chemaly: Legislators: Women Are Not Cows and Pigs. This week the Georgia State Legislature debated a bill in the House that would make it necessary for some women to carry stillborn or dying fetuses until they "naturally" go into labor. In arguing for this bill Representative Terry England described his empathy for pregnant cows and pigs in the same situation. I have a question for Terry England, Sam Brownback, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry and too many others: I have three daughters, two of them twins. If one of my twins had been stillborn would you have made me carry her to term, thereby endangering both the other twin and me? Or, would you have insisted that the state order a mandatory fetal extraction of the living twin fetus from my womb so that I could continue to carry the stillborn one to term and possibly die myself? My family is curious and since you believe my uterus is your public property, I am, too.
Mr. England, unlike the calves and pigs for which you expressed so much empathy, I am not a beast of burden. The right to life. Guest Post: A Doctor on Transvaginal Ultrasounds. A friend of mine is a physician who wants to speak about transvaginal ultrasounds but whose position makes it precarious to speak publicly about it.
So I’m letting this doctor borrow my site for an entry to speak anonymously on the matter. Obviously, I will vouch for the doctor being a doctor and being qualified to speak on the subject. Update, 9:14pm: This post is being linked to far and wide, so we’re getting lots of new readers and commenters. It’s important that before you comment you read the site disclaimer and comment policy. Update: 12:13am, 3/21: I’m going to bed, so I turned off the comments for the night. Update: 1pm, 3/21: As a head’s up to people, at 8pm eastern time tonight, I will turning off the comments for this thread permanently.
Update: 8pm, 3/21: Comment thread is now closed. Right. I’m speaking, of course, about the required-transvaginal-ultrasound thing that seems to be the flavor-of-the-month in politics. I do not care what your personal politics are.