Serena Williams’s treatment shows how hard it is to be a black woman at work | Carys Afoko

The fact that the tennis player manages to overcome the discrimination she faces every day is an inspiration

When I have a bad day at work, I think of Serena Williams. I tell myself that if she can do her job then I can do mine. To be clear, I am not a professional athlete – I struggle to walk up more than one flight of stairs without losing my breath. And, no, I’m not the mother of a small and adorable child, I just about keep my houseplants alive most weeks. The thing Williams and I have in common is that we are black women who work for a living. And being a black woman at work comes with a specific set of challenges.

Related: Serena Williams was right about women’s treatment but wrong on Saturday | Kevin Mitchell

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Original source: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/10/serena-williams-black-woman-work-tennis-discrimination

Comicsgate is the latest front in the ongoing culture wars | J A Micheline

Unless comics creators adopt a zero tolerance approach to racism and misogyny, this abuse of power by ‘fans’ will never end

For those who haven’t been following the latest front of the ongoing culture wars, Comicsgate is, well, exactly what it sounds like: Gamergate but comics. In 2014, the Washington Post described Gamergate as “a proxy war for a greater cultural battle over who belongs to the mainstream”, and that description, four years later, remains perfectly adequate to describe its comics iteration.

Many will tell you that the movement began with the 2017 rise of Richard C Meyer, a Twitter user who amassed a platform largely based on denouncement, derision and disrespect of marginalised industry professionals, as well as their advocates – typically by co-opting marginalised rhetoric to reposition himself and others like him as victims.

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Original source: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/11/poison-comicsgate-racism-misogyny-take-a-stand

No joke: TV editors cut me out of a panel show – and didn’t even notice | Natalie Haynes

Sandi Toksvig is right: TV comedy can be brutal for women. Luckily, there’s a simple solution

When Sandi Toksvig says women are cut out of panel shows, she really isn’t exaggerating. I once walked into the office of a production company to work on the second episode of a comedy panel show. They’d booked me (and several people who are now household names but will here remain nameless, to protect the guilty) to record a series, the first of which had been broadcast the night before. I hadn’t seen it because I was out gigging and Twitter didn’t exist, which made it harder for strangers to tell you something had gone disastrously wrong with your life and career.

So I didn’t know why the producer was apologising until someone explained. There were two women and three men on the show, which was (and still is) unusual. We had recorded about an hour for a half-hour programme. It had gone well. We had made each other laugh. But somehow, between the recording and the broadcast, the editors had managed to cut every single thing I’d said and all but one sentence of what my female colleague had said. They had kept in plenty of footage of us smiling and laughing. But somehow they hadn’t noticed that they had cut out all our words. In fact, they never did notice: the channel controller called to ask what the hell had happened, and only then did they realise what they’d done.

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Original source: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/11/tv-editors-panel-shows-sandi-toksvig-tv-comedy-women-natalie-haynes

Freeze eggs before 35 for a better chance of IVF success, says report

Age at time of freezing is key to whether fertility treatment will succeed, says UK regulator

For women intending to undergo IVF treatment using frozen eggs, the younger they are when they are frozen the greater the chance of a successful pregnancy, according to a report by the UK’s independent fertility regulator.

Most IVF treatment cycles use fresh eggs, but a very small number use eggs that have been frozen and thawed. It can, for example, be especially beneficial for cancer patients who decide to freeze their eggs before undergoing chemotherapy.

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Original source: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/sep/12/freeze-eggs-before-35-better-chance-ivf-success-report

Female MPs from around world to gather for UK suffrage event

More than 100 politicians will meet in Commons to mark centenary of women’s vote

More than 100 female politicians from around the world, from Afghanistan to the Vatican, will sit in the House of Commons for a landmark event to mark the centenary of women first winning the right to vote in the UK.

The Women MPs of the World conference, in which there will be parliamentarians from 104 countries on the green benches in early November, will be co-hosted by the Labour MP Harriet Harman, the mother of the house, and the international development secretary, Penny Mordaunt.

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Original source: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/sep/12/female-mps-from-around-world-gather-uk-suffrage-event

Open letter condemns sexist coverage of Boris Johnson’s private life

MPs, journalists and advisers all attacked the media over its treatment of Carrie Symonds

A coalition of political journalists, advisers and politicians have signed a letter condemning sexist media coverage of the woman at the centre of the allegations about Boris Johnson’s private life.

The open letter said the treatment of Carrie Symonds, the former CCHQ director of communications, had been appalling and would discourage talented women from entering politics and the media.

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Original source: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/sep/12/open-letter-condemns-sexist-coverage-of-boris-johnsons-private-life

Julia Banks lashes ‘appalling’ behaviour against women in parliament

Victorian MP says politics is decades behind business in equality and calls for quotas

The Liberal MP Julia Banks has taken aim at “appalling” behaviour in federal parliament including bullying, intimidation and harassment.

On Wednesday evening the first-term Victorian MP, who is quitting politics at the next election, joined a growing push for quotas to increase female representation in the Liberal Party and warned leaders not to sweep bullying allegations “under the carpet”.

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Original source: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/sep/13/julia-banks-lashes-appalling-behaviour-against-women-in-parliament

Women are being forced to breastfeed standing on packed trains. What has the world come to?

I had to stand up holding a toddler, because nobody would give up their seat. This isn’t just an inconvenience – it’s an expression of the sexism women face

If proof of the contempt with which women are routinely treated in this country is needed, Wide Awoke advises you to ask any mother about her experiences of travelling with small children.

My randomly plucked horror story goes like this: boarding a train from Edinburgh to London with my toddler, I found that both of the wheelchair spaces – the only place where you have the option of keeping your baby in their buggy – were taken. By three able-bodied adults. There was another woman with a baby in a buggy and I politely asked them to move for us. They refused. We then politely asked the train guard to assist us. He said there was nothing he could do. Everyone else in the carriage put in their headphones and shut their eyes. We folded our buggies and stood holding our babies until seats became available. The atmosphere was at Bodyguard levels of intensity. The other mother started sobbing and I ended up comforting her in the vestibule as we lurched against the walls of the tilting train, our babies thumping on our hips and hopelessness in our hearts.

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Original source: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/sep/11/women-are-being-forced-to-breastfeed-standing-on-packed-trains-what-has-the-world-come-to

Can you find love after cancer? Lauren Mahon on loss, lust and first dates

Mahon is a presenter of the podcast You, Me and the Big C, and last week she suffered a huge loss with the death of the show’s creator Rachael Bland. She describes the urgency she now feels in pursuing love and a big life

Having cancer changes everything; and when one of your closest friends dies from cancer, the world changes again, says Lauren Mahon. For Mahon, who co-presented the podcast You, Me and the Big C with Rachael Bland, her own cancer diagnosis had inspired the desire to find love. Now, her colleague’s death has given the quest a new urgency.

Mahon sounds focused and warm when we meet, a tall order just days after Bland’s death, and despite what she describes as the “tornado” of TV and radio interviews since last week. But that is absolutely in the spirit of the conversation-changing programme the women created along with the podcast’s third presenter, Deborah James.

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Original source: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/sep/11/love-after-cancer-lauren-mahon-lust-first-dates-podcast-you-me-and-the-big-c-death-rachael-bland

‘Of course Serena Williams was angry’: writer Soraya Chemaly on why women should unleash their rage

In Chemaly’s book Rage Becomes Her, she writes that women are taught from birth to suppress their anger. It’s time now, she says, to let it all out

‘I remember my first feeling of rage very clearly,” says the writer and activist Soraya Chemaly. “I was, maybe, eight years old and my brother was six. We were sitting with our parents at dinner when my father said to me: ‘Get up and clear the table with your mother.’ My brother just looked at me with this big grin on his face.”

Outrage, indignation, resentment – whatever you call it, these often maligned emotions are essential for our survival. They tell us when a line has been crossed, when we have been violated and when we should say “no”. Anger is a “doing” emotion. It demands recognition. It demands change. And it is the subject of Chemaly’s new book, Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger.

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Original source: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/sep/11/serena-williams-angry-soraya-chemaly-women-should-unleash-rage