Ontario businesses want trumpy Doug Ford to kill leave for domestic abuse survivors, allow mandatory high heeled shoes

Ontario's "A Plan for Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs" (AKA Bill 148) legislates leave for domestic abuse survivors, provides for 10 days of paid emergency leave, three weeks paid vacation after five years' employment, and a ban on employers requiring their employees to wear high heels. Read the rest

Sex workers pioneered the internet, and now the internet has rejected them

Motherboard's Sofia Barrett-Ibarria talks to sex-worker advocates about the early history of sex-work and the net; after economically sustaining the alt-weekly industry and its excellent local journalism, sex workers found themselves increasingly unwelcome in their ad sections and moved online, pioneering the internet as we know it today. Read the rest

California bans all-male corporate boards

As of 2019, publicly traded California corporations will have to have at least one woman board-member or face fines; the minimum number of woman board members climbs to two in 2020 (three for companies with boards of six or more people). Read the rest

Twitter suspends academic who quoted feminist STEM research

MIT Comparative Media Studies researcher/instructor Chris Peterson is an adrent supporter of the Math Prize for Girls, and as part of his work with the organization, he's learned about the way that STEM fields were once considered inherently feminine, while the higher-status humanities were dominated by men -- it's the subject of some outstanding feminist scholarship by Professor Maria Charles. Read the rest

#MeToo meets the #FightFor15 as McDonald's workers walk out over sexual harassment

McDonald's workers in ten US cities staged a mass walkout last week, demanding that the company take action on the rampant sexual abuse and harassment in its franchisees' stores; as the workers pointed out, the company surveils and controls their every move on-shift down to the minutest detail, but can't seem to find any way to chase down reports that women are being groped and then fired if they refuse to perform sexual acts on their supervisors. Read the rest

Anita Hill on how sexual harassment allegations should be handled

When Anita Hill testified about the sexual abuse she'd suffered at Clarence Thomas's hands, Senate Republicans and the press pilloried her, calling her a liar and worse, and going on to confirm Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. Read the rest

As "porn for women" tops search terms, a porn site offers cash grants for female pornographers

"Porn for women" was Pornhub's "top trending" search term for 2017; across the pornosphere, the number of women viewers continues its meteoric rise and rise, up to 25% now -- for the porn industry woman viewers represent a huge opportunity for growth. Read the rest

Woman World: the hilarious man-free apocalypse we've all been waiting for

Woman World started life as a webcomic created by Canadian cartoonist Aminder Dhaliwal to explore the premise of a world where "men have gone extinct" and women have to "learn to talk again because they're not being interrupted" -- what could have been a one-panel joke turned into one of the most remarkable, funny, compassionate, ascerbic, hilarious comics of its day, and that day is now, because today is the day you can get Woman World, a book from Drawn & Quarterly collecting the comic so far.

Academic freedom grifters rally around a new anti-transgender "disease"

Brown University researcher Lisa Littman has become the latest cause célèbre for academic freedom grifters after publishing an irresponsible article promoting "rapid-onset gender dysphoria," yet another disease model of gender identity and expression. Imagine a disease called "rapid-onset homosexuality" to understand the problem with "ROGD." Now all the usual suspects are defending her biased garbage. Read the rest

A lovely little story about a sentient tank that attends a comic-con

John Wiswell's story "Tank!" tells the sweet, sad story of a fannish tank that wants to attend a comic-con and is confounded by their nonbinary gender, their social awkwardness, and the fact that no one will believe that their main gun has been peace-bonded. (via Super Punch) Read the rest

It just got easier to change your gender in California, thanks to 2 new laws

Two new laws that allow California residents to officially change their gender identification went into effect this past Labor Day weekend. Read the rest

Data-driven analysis of the total, gratuitous inadequacy of women's pockets

Pudding's data-driven analysis of women's jeans pockets compares 32" waist jeans for men and women from a variety of brands and uses various common cellphones as a benchmark; the conclusion will not surprise you. Read the rest

A comedian and the former president of Ireland have a new podcast about women and climate justice

Comedian Maeve Higgins is the host of the amazing Maeve In America podcast in which Higgins, an Irish immigrant to Brooklyn, discusses the immigrant experience in America with other immigrants (as an immigrant to the USA myself, I find this a consistently fascinating and uplifting listen); Mary Robinson was the first woman elected President of Ireland (1990-1997), and after a tenure marked by much-needed, groundbreaking liberalization and secularization, she served as the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002 -- she was forced out by opposition from George W Bush's UN delegation!). Read the rest

A machine learning system trained on scholarly journals could correct Wikipedia's gendered under-representation problem

Quicksilver is a machine-learning tool from AI startup Primer: it used 30,000 Wikipedia entries to create a model that allowed it to identify the characteristics that make a scientist noteworthy enough for encyclopedic inclusion; then it mined the academic search-engine Semantic Scholar to identify the 200,000 scholars in a variety of fields; now it is systematically composing draft Wikipedia entries for scholars on its list who are missing from the encyclopedia. Read the rest

FDA warns companies: stop selling quack "vaginal rejuvenation," adds, "People, please don't do this to yourselves"

The FDA has sent warning letters to seven companies selling quack "energy based" vaginal rejuvenation "therapies," in which repurposed laser and radio-frequency-based tools that are used to remove warts and precancerous growths are used to scorch peoples' vaginas, a process that is claimed to have benefits for sexual dysfunction, urinary problems, dryness, "laxity," itching and a host of ills. Some of these companies specifically target breast-cancer survivors. Read the rest

Seattle passes America's most comprehensive labor protections for domestic workers

Domestic workers -- overwhelming female, overwhelmingly racialized -- have historically been exempted from traditional labor protections, from the minimum wage to workplace safety to recourse for harassment and worse. Read the rest

The Russian equivalent to Alexa is a "good girl" but not too friendly, and is totally OK with wife-beating

Yandex is Russia's answer to Weibo, an everything-under-one-(semi-state-controlled)-roof online service, and its answer to Alexa is Alisa. Read the rest

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