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'The controversy surrounding the exclusionary identity politics unsettling what should be a unifying event — Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington — shows that the fractures underpinning Hillary Clinton’s devastating election loss have not healed.

Unfortunately, the activist wing of the Democratic Party and many leading progressives are clinging to a profound disconnect with the broader mass of Americans, both women and men.

I live in Washington and plan to attend the protest because Donald Trump’s presidency, and what it portends for America and the democratic world, demands such action. A commander-in-chief who revels in grabbing women “by the pussy,” myriad insults to women, cozies up to a Russian dictator who hacked the U.S. election, spews contempt for our allies including Angela Merkel, wants to build a wall to keep out Mexicans, or target people because they are of the Muslim faith, merits a strong collective response.

But the attempted hijacking of the march’s agenda and all the nasty tit-for-tat between white versus black/queer/Muslim/trans and other identities tells a very disturbing story about the divided state of feminism today. The separatist, inward-looking politics that helped drive Trump to power and Clinton into oblivion is not going away — in fact it is becoming more entrenched, and all for the better, say organizers bent on highlighting women’s differences rather than their commonality as American and international citizens.'

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'Call it contraception equality.

Vasectomies, which are not covered under President Barack Obama’s health care law, are increasingly being included in state measures that would require insurers to provide cost-free coverage of birth control.

Backers of laws and proposals in such states as Illinois, Vermont, Maryland and most recently New York say that if women can get tubal ligations with no out-of-pocket costs, men should be able to get their surgical sterilization covered cost-free as well. Such state measures are seen as a key backup if the federal mandate is repealed.

“What we have are couples facing a decision about which birth control method to use and they see that methods used by women have no out-of-pocket cost while there would be a cost, in some cases a fairly substantial cost, for men’s,” said Adam Sonfield, a policy analyst for the Guttmacher Institute, which studies reproductive health issues.'

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'The European Investment Bank (EIB), the money-lending arm of the EU, is to launch a new gender strategy to increase women’s participation in global economies.

From 1 January the bank will implement new rules designed to ensure its lending will help women and men equally, following growing evidence of the economic advantages of female equality.

According to the bank, up to $12tn could be added to global GDP by 2025 by advancing women’s equality. It says the public, private, and social sectors need to act to close gender gaps in work and society, and acknowledges that it, along with other multilateral development bank, has a seminal role to play in making this happen.

Eleni Kyrou, senior social development specialist at the EIB, said the bank wanted to be “gender aware and gender sensitive”, so that its investments benefit women and men equally. “We are saying let’s have the gender lens, be aware of gender structural dynamics on the ground and really try to invest cognisant of this,” she said.'

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'To little fanfare from the usual trumpeters of pay inequality, figures released last week highlighted a new, and growing, gender pay gap.

Perhaps we can gain some insight into why the usual suspects lay silent when the latest tranche of data emerged from one of the few headlines it did garner: Earnings inequality among men soars.
...
Twenty years ago only 1 man in 20 aged 25-55 with low hourly wages worked part-time. Today the figure is one in five.

Furthermore, while 95% of top-earning men normally work full-time, 20% of the lowest-paid are now part-timers.

That means wage inequality for men has risen over two decades, while for women the opposite has been true.

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'Order a beer, get a lesson about consent, gender-based violence and sexual harassment– at least in Toronto through Jan. 22.

On Monday, at least 15 of the city’s bars kicked off the “On the Table” campaign, where they’ll distribute 10,000 message-bearing coasters.

Funded in part by the City of Toronto’s Arts Council, the project was created by Aisle 4, a “curatorial project that initiates and promotes socially engaged artwork.”'

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'In a landmark legal case, a Swiss man has been convicted of rape after secretly removing a condom during sex without his partner's consent.

The Independent reports the 47-year-old man (who has not been named publicly) met his partner on Tinder and they began to have consensual sex with a condom. Afterwards, the woman realized he had removed the condom at some point without her knowledge or approval.

Now, the Federal Supreme Court in Lausanne—the highest court in Switzerland—has judged that such actions do constitute rape, passing down a one-year suspended sentence. In comments to news agency RTS, the victim's lawyer described it as "a first in Switzerland."

Our understanding of consent has evolved hugely in recent years, thanks largely to the dedicated work of feminist activists and anti-sexual violence campaigners. However, for many a question mark hovers over whether removing a condom during sex is legally the same as rape. For the avoidance of any doubt: under UK law, it is.'

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'Air India is set to launch women-only seating to protect female fliers from sexual harassment after a number of women were allegedly groped by male passengers.

Starting January 18th, these seats will be made available on Airbus A320 aircrafts to women who travel alone and do not wish to be seated next to men, and will see the first two rows sectioned off.

Air India general manager-revenue management Meenakshi Malik told The Hindu that the company would not be charging any additional fee for blocking these seats as the move is meant to enhance female safety.

“We feel, as national carriers, it is our responsibility to enhance comfort level to female passengers. There are a lot of female passengers who travel alone with us and we will be blocking a few seats for them.”

The women-only seats will be available on domestic flights but may be extended to other flights in the next few months.

By Nahema Marchal | 7:25 am, January 17, 2017

Air India is set to launch women-only seating to protect female fliers from sexual harassment after a number of women were allegedly groped by male passengers.

Starting January 18th, these seats will be made available on Airbus A320 aircrafts to women who travel alone and do not wish to be seated next to men, and will see the first two rows sectioned off.

Air India general manager-revenue management Meenakshi Malik told The Hindu that the company would not be charging any additional fee for blocking these seats as the move is meant to enhance female safety.

“We feel, as national carriers, it is our responsibility to enhance comfort level to female passengers. There are a lot of female passengers who travel alone with us and we will be blocking a few seats for them.”

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'The Washington Post reports, “Of the 175,000 people who indicated they are going on the march’s Facebook page, just a fraction appear to be men,” which makes sense; it is the “Women’s March,” after all. But in this day and age, that which makes sense is usually problematic.

According to the Post, it’s “the same test that played out when Americans went to vote for the nation’s first female president,” and American men are once again failing.
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Men are understandably confused. Esquire’s Luke O’Neil is here to help. O’Neil explained what men should do:

“Anyone with any degree of self-awareness may be hesitant to blunder his way into areas he wasn’t explicitly invited into, and there has been the regrettable emergence of a reviled archetype in recent years of the performative male feminist who espouses feminist talking points to enhance his own status . . . As a modest suggestion, men simply need to do two things at once: Speak up and keep your mouth shut.”'

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'To be a woman in the United States is to feel unequal, despite great strides in gender equality, according to a wide-ranging poll about gender in postelection America released Tuesday. It’s catcalls on the street, disrespect at work and unbalanced responsibilities at home. For girls, it’s being taught, more than boys, to aspire to marriage, and for women, it’s watching positions of power go to men.

Men, however, don’t necessarily see it that way.

Those are some of the findings from the poll, by PerryUndem, a nonpartisan research and polling firm whose biggest clients are foundations. It surveyed 1,302 adults in December via the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago’s AmeriSpeak panel.

Eighty-two percent of women said sexism was a problem in society today, and 41 percent of women said they had felt unequal because of their gender.

Men underestimated the sexism felt by the women in their lives, the survey found. And while most respondents agreed it’s a better time to be a man than a woman in our society, only Republican men thought it was a better time to be a woman than a man.'

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'On Tuesday night, two Democrat senators pressured President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, to embrace a debunked college campus "rape culture" narrative on sexual assault. Specifically, they asked her to commit to enforcing Title IX regulations which have deprived hundreds of students of their due process rights under the Constitution.

The issue of campus sexual assault is more complicated than Democrats like to admit. While such assault is a heinous crime and should be dealt with seriously, every case should be examined on its own merits, without preconceived judgements on either side. Much of the rhetoric involving such cases is one-sided, and it pressures colleges to find the accused guilty, even in the face of exonerating evidence.

The Obama administration has enshrined in law a false narrative that destroys lives, and Democrats defend it in the name of prosecuting sexual assault. Here is U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D, Washington state), questioning DeVos:

"Murray: President-elect Trump was recored bragging about kissing and groping and trying to have sex with women without their consent. ... If this behavior, kissing and touching women and girls without their consent, happened in a school, would you consider it sexual assault?

DeVos: Yes.

Murray: One in five young women will experience sexual assault while in college. ... Can you promise them and me that you will not, as has been in the press, consider "reining in the Office for Civil Rights" in the Department's work to protect students from campus sexual assault?"

There are multiple problems with Murray's remarks and question.'

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'Indeed, traditional concepts of masculinity, which asked men to cultivate physical and mental toughness, to assume leadership roles in the home, in business, and on the battlefield, and to become guardians and protectors, became the “trap” or “man box,” to quote the University of Richmond’s ridiculous “authentic masculinities” site. The most destructive words a boy can hear? “Be a man,” at least according to the mandatory freshman orientation at Gettysburg College.

But here’s the problem — vulnerability isn’t a virtue. It’s a morally neutral characteristic at best and a vice at worst. Yes, some men are more naturally sensitive than others, but we now ask — no, beg — men to indulge their emotions, as if the antidote to awful male aggression is a good cry.
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We are failing in that key task. Feminism has infected child-rearing and modern education so thoroughly that legions of parents and teachers are adrift and clueless. They have no idea what to do with their sons, and absent fathers compound the confusion and create yawning cultural voids. Yes, there are some pajama boys out there, the guys who embrace the feminist project (truthfully in part to hook up with feminist women), but there are countless others who reject feminism’s version of a “man box” and are instead adrift in purposeless masculinity.'

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'Two sisters who disappeared from Rhode Island with their mother in 1985 have been located in the Houston area, and their mother was charged with snatching them, police announced Tuesday.

An anonymous tip two days before Christmas led police to Kimberly and Kelly Yates and their mother, Elaine Yates, state police Lt. Col. Joseph Philbin said. Elaine Yates, who had been living in Houston under the name Liana Lynn Waldberg, was arrested Monday and faces arraignment Wednesday in Rhode Island.

Kelly Yates was 10 months old and her sister was 3 years old when they disappeared. Kelly Yates, now 32, and Kimberly Yates, now 35, weren't living with their mother, who's 69, but are in the Houston area and are in good health, Philbin said.

The girls' father, Russell Yates, was told of the arrest immediately after it happened and is relieved, Philbin said. His contact information was given to his daughters.'

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'A grandfather was credited with fighting off a woman who tried to kidnap his 3-year-old granddaughter on Saturday at a Northern California park.

Lindsay Frasher, 28, was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and is being held on $200,000 bail in the Placer County jail, according to the Auburn Police Department.

Police Sgt. Gary Hopping told KTXL-TV that the man and his two grandchildren were visiting Ashford Park in Auburn, about 35 miles northeast of Sacramento, at 1:42 p.m. when Frasher approached them.

She then grabbed one of the children, a 3-year-old girl, and tried to pull her from her grandfather, police said.'

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'Rigid definitions of masculinity are toxic to men's health. Even the World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized that men's tendency to die at younger ages may correlate to the harmful ways that masculinity has been defined in society and the ways that men have been conditioned to practice it.

“In 2000, the World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledged the need to pay greater attention to the shorter life expectancy of men and identified a lack of understanding of the role of ‘masculinity’ in shaping men’s expectations and behaviours as a primary causative factor for the health disparity between men and women” (Evans, Frank, Oliffe and Gregory, 2011).

They determined that risk-taking behaviors and lack of willingness to seek help were among the reasons for negative health outcomes that men experience (Baker et al., 2014). This lack of willingness to seek help is not limited to physical injury and illness. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reports that the suicide rate for men is about four times higher than it is for women (“Facts and Figures, date unknown).

How men are socialized plays into the type of violence that exists in college communities. The harm and violence that men inflict is not strictly contained to the self-harm mentioned previously. Men will often resort to violence to resolve conflict because anger is the only emotion that they have been socialized to express. Unfortunately, the way that young men are conditioned to view sex and their need to be dominant and have power over others also contribute to instances of sexual assault and other forms of interpersonal violence on college campuses.'

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'A Spanish murderer dubbed the “ice cream killer” is so dangerous, she’s being moved to an all-male prison to serve out her life sentence, according to a new report.

Estibaliz Carranza, 38, earned the chilling nickname after she shot her boyfriend and ex-husband to death in 2008, cut up their bodies with a chainsaw and hid them in the freezers of her ice cream store in Vienna, Austria.

The Mexican-born Spanish national stored the body parts in ice cream tubs filled with concrete and disguised the smell with air fresheners.

Now, she’ll spend the rest of her life in an all-male prison in Asten, Austria, because she shows an “advanced reduction of the relevant dangerousness,” according to the Mirror.

The prison, which houses 91 men, allows inmates to freely move around and cook their own meals together. Prisoners can also use a lounge area with a TV.

Carranza is one of 13 women to be transferred to the prison.

She carried out the crimes because the men failed to get her pregnant.'

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