Sexting Featured Feminism & Women's Rights 

Anti-Rape Devices May Have Their Uses, but They Don’t Address the Ultimate Problem

World Wide (Conversation) – Crime prevention initiatives targeting sexual violence are by no means new. But as technology advances and costs decrease, we are seeing an abundance of digital and technological strategies emerge. Last month, an invisible anti-groping stamp sold out within an hour of its launch in Japan. The stamp can be used by victims to mark someone who gropes them on public transport. This mark can only be seen when a black light (that comes with the device) is cast over it. But we need to ask: are apps, wearables and virtual reality programs really reducing incidents, Read More

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Sad Woman Violence Against Women 

Connecting With Centuries-Old Stories About Women’s Painful Struggles

World Wide (Conversation) – This is an edited extract from a chapter in the recently published “Teaching for Change”. In 2016 female students at South Africa’s universities started the #EndRapeCulture campaign to mobilise against the pervasive culture of sexual violence on the different campuses. In Stellenbosch the campaign was marked by two striking occasions. One evening in April 2016, the fire alarms went off at 2am across the Stellenbosch University campus. This was to signal the message that the student community would no longer be silent about their fellow students being raped. A month earlier, a group of young Read More

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Greta Thunberg Featured Feminism & Women's Rights 

Misogyny, Male Rage and the Words Men Use to Describe Greta Thunberg

World Wide (Conversation) – Detractors have dismissed Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg – a Nobel Prize nominee – as mentally ill, hysterical and a millennial weirdo after she pleaded with world officials last week to address the climate crisis. Here, two researchers explain the stereotypical labels deployed by critics to undermine Thunberg’s call to action, which the activist herself has described as “too loud for people to handle”. Camilla Nelson, Associate Professor in Media, University of Notre Dame Greta Thunberg obviously scares some men silly. The bullying of the teenager by conservative middle-aged men has taken on a grim, Read More

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Climate Change Environment Featured 

Not Convinced on the Need for Urgent Climate Action? Here’s What Happens to Our Planet Between 1.5°C and 2°C of Global Warming

World Wide (Conversation) – Many numbers are bandied around in climate emergency discussions. Of them, 1.5°C is perhaps the most important. At the Paris Agreement in 2015, governments agreed to limit global warming to well below 2°C and to aim for 1.5°C. By 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – the UN body tasked with relaying the science of climate breakdown to the world – had made worryingly clear in a special report how much graver the consequences of the higher number would be. Together with the University of Queensland’s Ove Hoegh-Guldberg and colleagues around the world, we’ve Read More

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Feminism & Women's Rights 

Australian Women May Find It Tougher to Get an Abortion Soon

Australia (Conversation) – If the Religious Discrimination Bill passes into law, women may find it harder to get an abortion. That’s because health practitioners with an objection to performing the procedure on religious grounds may have stronger legal protection and may not be compelled to refer women to an alternative provider. This may lead women to consult multiple services, if available, before finding a doctor willing to perform the procedure.   Who does the bill cover and where? In the new bill, the term “health practitioner” has a broad meaning. It includes doctors, nurses, midwives and pharmacists. If the Read More

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Violence against women, Mexico Featured Violence Against Women 

Why ‘Macho Culture’ Is Not to Blame for Violence Against Women in Mexico

Mexico (Conversation) – In recent weeks, hundreds of women have taken to the streets of Mexico City protesting against murder, rape and other violence against women in Mexico. Many commentators blame “macho culture” for the violence they are so furious about. In the first half of 2019 alone, 1,835 women were murdered in Mexico, according to Mexican geophysicist María Salguero, who is mapping the violence. In these accounts, macho culture seems to refer to a social climate which facilitates or rewards macho attitudes and behaviours. Following the stereotype, in a macho culture, a man earns respect through his ability Read More

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Gardening Health 

Anxiety and Depression: Why Doctors Are Prescribing Gardening Rather Than Drugs

United Kingdom (Conversation) – Spending time in outdoors, taking time out of the everyday to surround yourself with greenery and living things can be one of life’s great joys – and recent research also suggest it’s good for your body and your brain. Scientists have found that spending two hours a week in nature is linked to better health and well-being. It’s maybe not entirely surprising then that some patients are increasingly being prescribed time in nature and community gardening projects as part of “green prescriptions” by the NHS. In Shetland for example, islanders with depression and anxiety may Read More

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Pentagon Featured Politics 

One Budget Line Congress Can Agree On: Spending Billions on the US Military

United States (Conversation) – The two-year budget deal signed into law in July marks a rare bipartisan agreement. The deal adds US$320 billion over current spending levels spread across defense and non-defense programs, averting the threat of debt default until after the 2020 election and reducing the threat of another government shutdown. To forestall imminent budget crisis, party leaders agreed to pile on to the nation’s $1 trillion deficit by adding another $1.7 trillion to the national debt over the next decade. Despite stark partisan divisions on deficit spending and social programs, bipartisan support for large defense budgets is Read More

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Environment 

Huge Wildfires in the Arctic and Far North Send a Planetary Warning

World Wide (Conversation) – The planet’s far North is burning. This summer, over 600 wildfires have consumed more than 2.4 million acres of forest across Alaska. Fires are also raging in northern Canada. In Siberia, choking smoke from 13 million acres – an area nearly the size of West Virginia – is blanketing towns and cities. Fires in these places are normal. But, as studies here at the University of Alaska’s International Arctic Research Center show, they are also abnormal. My colleagues and I are examining the complex relationships between warming climate, increasing fire and shifting patterns of vegetation. Read More

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Swearing Culture 

Swearing: Attempts to Ban It Are a Waste of Time – Wherever There Is Language, People Cuss

United Kingdom (Conversation) – Attempts to ban swearing in public places, in the workplace and even in the home appear to be on the rise. The common thinking seems to be that people swear more and swear worse than they used to – and that this is a recent phenomenon. The apparent rise of profanity is easily ascribed to our language, interactions and society deteriorating under the bad influence of social media. This has to be stopped, the appalled guardians of “polite” behaviour argue, and the way to stop it is to impose bans, fines, sackings – or send Read More

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