Graffiti on Mohamed Mahmoud Street, Cairo, Egypt, depicting a woman fighting against sexual harassment. (c) Amnesty International
Ahmed Ezz, a mechanical engineer, talks about his voluntary work with Operation Anti-Sexual Harrassment/Assault (OpAntiSH), an activist organization based in Cairo, Egypt, known for intervening in sexual assaults by mobs in Tahrir Square.
When people find out that a woman has been sexually harassed and assaulted, their first reaction is “what was she wearing?”. They always lay the blame on the women themselves. I’ve witnessed this so many times.
It is not safe at all in Cairo for women and girls. Their freedom of movement is constantly constrained. Some avoid using the metro, and spend more money on taking taxis or multiple buses, simply to minimize the risk of harassment and assault. If women and girls complain about sexual harassment, people around them just try to calm them down, belittle their concerns or accuse them of unjustly pointing the fingers at harassers.
He went on: “This is what a father does that is may be a little different, maybe — maybe a little different, maybe a little better than the talent that mom has in a certain area and same things for the young girls, you know, this is what a mom does and this is what’s important from the standpoint of that union. Which we call marriage. And we have called that since the beginning of this country and long before the beginning of this country.”
Gingrey, who is a medical doctor, made news earlier this year for saying that former Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin was “partly right” when he made his infamous “legitimate rape” comment.
Google Co-Founder Says Smartphones Are ‘Emasculating’
Tom Kludt 3:30 PM EST, Wednesday February 27, 2013
Google co-founder Sergey Brin on Wednesday described his misgivings with smartphones, saying that using them makes him feel less manly.Sergey Brin
During a speech at the TED Conference in Long Beach, Calif., Brin called smartphones “emasculating.”
“You’re standing around and just rubbing this featureless piece of glass,” Brin said of smartphones, according to CNET. Brin talked about his company’s head-mounted device, known as Google Glass, that has been set up to compete with smartphones.
The problem for Romney is that most women don’t live such fairytale lives. And the candidate’s obvious devotion to one woman doesn’t have a great deal of relevance to them as voters. Women are increasingly the household breadwinners, and more women now graduate from college than men. Yet women still earn less then men do, even in comparable positions. They tend to do more of the caring for elderly parents and are more likely to leave the workforce temporarily or limit their hours to see to the needs of young children.
The challenge for both the Romney and the Obama campaigns now is to court undecided female voters, a large enough demographic that they could swing the election. To that end, let me make a suggestion: Stop viewing us as a needy constituency and treat us more as equals.
In this, Obama has the edge so far. He shows it in the words he chooses when discussing issues that affect women more directly than men, such as unequal pay and contraception. He also walks the talk, as when he signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
The candidate who will win the undecided women’s vote will be able to honestly discuss inequities that face women, especially in the workplace, yet not talk down to them or only to their wombs. It’s about including women as equals without pandering.
Both Romney and Obama can point to strong, intelligent women who were influential in their lives — both of their mothers qualify. Each man has lived through an era in which women’s roles in the home and workplace changed dramatically.
Many female voters are looking for a candidate who understands the difficult choices women are compelled to make with respect to family and work, who understands the pressure women feel from society’s often-outmoded notions of gender roles. They want a candidate who can show he has learned from women’s experiences during his lifetime, and empathized and stood alongside them when necessary.
Romney’s awkward debate gaffe about “binders full of women” only highlighted what many suspect: that he’s not comfortable discussing the problems many women face.
Double Exposure: Artists are summoning the age-old distinction between naked and nude, on gender roles, sexual politics and more
It might have been a test of how our perceptions of the unclothed body in art have changed over the past four decades: Two years ago, at the Museum of Modern Art, a young man and a young woman stood facing each other in a doorway, immobile and wearing nothing. Visitors could choose to squeeze between them or to use another entrance into the exhibition.
The piece, called Imponderabilia, was a re-creation of a 1977 performance work by Marina Abramovic (together with her then-partner, Ulay), and it was among the most talked-about aspects of her 40-year retrospective at MoMA. Most reviewers referred to the two people in the doorway as “naked,” but might they not also be thought of as nudes—living embodiments of a long line of sculptures of the human body stretching back to Greek kouroi, especially since the “performers” were trained dancers with well-toned bodies, who stood as stiff as, well, statues?
Naked or nude? Or something else altogether in our postmodern stew of mediums and messages?
Half a century ago, when Kenneth Clark published The Nude: A Study in Ideal Form, he could make a clear distinction: “To be naked is to be deprived of our clothes, and the word implies some of the embarrassment most of us feel in that condition,” he wrote. “The word ‘nude,’ on the other hand, carried in educated usage, no uncomfortable overtone. The vague image it projects into the mind is not of a huddled, defenseless body, but of a balanced, prosperous, and confident body: the body re-formed.”