Category Archives: Status of Women

“Girls and Sex” by Peggy Orenstein reports double standard

Peggy Orenstein has written about US girls for decades. She interviewed over 70 girls ages 15 to 20 for her book Girls and Sex (2017). Many told her they wanted to lose their virginity before going to college and often their first experience of intercourse in “hook-up culture” was alcohol-fueled with a boy who wasn’t a close friend. The girls said that being a slut and a prude are both negatives. However, incidence of teen intercourse is down while engaging in alternatives like oral sex has increased at younger ages. Many of the oral sex encounters are one-way in that the girl services the boy without reciprocation. Girls taught supposed to be sexy to please boys, without emphasis on their own pleasure. College women were likely to tell Orenstein they were satisfied if their partner was happy. Orenstein found that US fathers tend to not discuss sex with their daughters (except at “purity balls” where girls in white are escorted by their tux-wearing fathers as they pledge abstinence until marriage), while their mothers emphasize being safe, and responsible. In contrast Dutch mothers emphasize girls’ rights to assert their desires and limits in mutual sexual pleasure.

Fearless Girl statue vs. Charging Bull

The Wall Street McCann Ad agency installed a statue of a girl facing off the famous Wall Street bull statue in 2017, not a woman but “The Fearless Girl.” The sculptor of the “Charging Bull” asked that the girl statue be moved because she insultingly made his bull seem like a threat rather than a positive symbol of strength. Mayor Bill de Blasio supported the girl because people need inspiration in the Trump Administration and, “Men who don’t like women taking up space are exactly why we need the Fearless Girl.”[i]

[i] James Barron, “Wounded by ‘Fearless Girl,’ Creator of ‘Charging Bull’ Wants Her to Move,” New York Times, April 12, 2017.

Opposing harassment of women in public transportation

Hollaback and Safecity websites warn women about street harassment locations. Mexico City ranked worst in a survey of 16 international cities for harassment on public transportation. In response, a city program gives whistles to women to break the silence and some young women video record harassment and post it on the Las Morras YouTube channel. Another Mexican feminist group confronts harassment with loud punk music and shooting a confetti cannon at the perpetrator. UN Women’s “Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces for Women and Girls” program advocates more women-only buses and train cars, similar those found in India, Egypt, Iran, UAE, Indonesia, and so on.

Lauren Ferreira Cardoso, “Street Harassment is a Public Health Problem,” The Conversation, March 19, 2017.

How Guatemalans Ousted their Corrupt President

GUATEMALA: How We Ousted Our President

By Mercedes | 14 March, 2017

“Mercedes Ordonez Jop was part of the movement that drove out a corrupt president and restored Guatemalans’ love for their country.

Enough is enough! No more corruption. Resign now, Mr. President!

The general strike of 27 August 2015 was historic for the people of Guatemala. That day we awoke from years of silence and stood up united against repression. The nation-wide strike was the largest and most peaceful protest in the recent memory of our country, and it was convened primarily through social networks.

Together as a nation we decided that we had had enough of our government’s corruption and abuse. We took the future of our country in our own hands, and raised our voices to demand that the president, Otto Pérez Molina, step down. Today he is imprisoned and expecting a trial, so he can pay for all his crimes in jail.” See more……