News briefs from the Women’s Media Center

Schwarzenegger, Strauss-Kahn and The Media’s Groping Problem
RH Reality Check: A friendly reminder that groping is, in fact, a real crime defined by a lack of consent, which makes it substantially more similar to rape than it is to ill-advised yet consensual flirting, petting, or sex.

Political Wives’ ‘Tipper Point’ Is Way Too Late
Women’s eNews: Maria Shriver asked for privacy this week in the matter of her breakup with Schwarzenegger over his “love child.” Sandra Kobrin says sorry, but when a woman stays married to a powerful womanizer, the personal turns deeply public and political.

The IMF: Violating Women since 1945
Foreign Policy in Focus: It appears that the personal disregard and disrespect for women demonstrated by the man at the highest levels of leadership within the IMF is quite consistent with the gender bias inherent in the IMF’s institutional policies and practice.


When Bad News is Good News—Notes of a Feminist News Junkie
WMCWMC Cofounder Robin Morgan on surrealism and sexual predators.

Why Is Media Justice Such a Hard Fight? See: Meredith Atwell Baker
Colorlines: Organizers have had to climb a steep hill in trying to protect equal access to media platforms for communities of color in recent years.

Hotel Maids Say Sexual Harassment is Part of the Job
IPS: A spotlight has been turned on the treatment of female cleaning staff, many of whom are immigrants who keep silent for fear of losing their jobs or being deported.

Georgia Law Turns Focus to Sex-Trafficked Girls
Women’s eNews: The problem of child sex-trafficking is widely associated with foreign countries such as Thailand and India. Advocates hope new sex-trafficking laws like the one passed in Georgia will focus concern on U.S. girls.

Katie Couric’s Last ‘CBS Evening News’
Huffington Post: Katie Couric ended her nearly five-year tenure as the anchor of the “CBS Evening News” on Thursday.

Does the World Still Need a Sassy Girl?
Salon: Jane Pratt revolutionized women’s mags in the ’90s. Can xoJane win back her one-time fans — and their daughters?

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg: Why Women Should Be in Charge
Care2: The Facebook COO gave the 2011 Commencement speech at Barnard.

Yes, Mothers of Disabled Children Can Work Full-Time Says EEOC Suit
Care2: The Timken Company of Canton, Ohio, must pay $120,000 and “provide other relief” to settle a gender and discrimination suit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Twelve Social Change Visionaries Are Honored by the Ford Foundation
Ford Foundation: $100,000 awards were made to 12 social innovators who, through their extraordinary vision and courageous work, are improving the lives of millions of people.

Women at IMF Find Themselves Vulnerable
New York Times: A 2008 internal review concluded that ““the absence of public ethics scandals seems to be more a consequence of luck than good planning and action.”

Global Connect! Google New York Supported Gender Justice Program for Women of the Diaspora
Women’s eNews: Women’s eNews and Global Press Institute are launching a one day gender justice and technology training event on Thursday, June 16 with the support of GoogleServe, the volunteer arm of Google, to empower women from the global diaspora living in New York.

The Big O
Adweek:In pursuit of women, media and marketers try to sell the path to orgasm as being as easy and foolproof as a man and his hand.


Sexual Diversity in a Sexist City
IPS: Known as the cradle of the revolution and of the conga, but also as one of the most machista places in Cuba, the city of Santiago was the scene of two days of activities demanding respect and freedom for different sexual orientations and gender identities.

Spring Not New to Arab Women
IPS: Women have been taking leading roles in the Arab uprisings of Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya,Morocco and Bahrain – shattering many decades old Western myths that Arab women are powerless and enslaved.

Calls for British Justice Secretary’s resignation over “serious rape” comments
Feministing: British Justice Secretary Ken Clarke proposed that would make it possible for convicted rapists to cut their sentences by up to 50% if they entered an early guilty plea – currently, the figure is 33%

German Company Rewards Staffers with Prostitutes
BBC: One of the biggest insurance companies in the world held a party for salesmen where they were rewarded with the services of prostitutes.


Unplanned Pregnancies Cost Taxpayers $11 Billion
Ms.: Studies released by the Guttmacher Institute and the Brookings Institution show that unintended pregnancies in the U.S. cost taxpayers roughly $11 billion per year.

The Breast Milk Black Market
Wired: In an era when the benefits of breast milk are better understood and more scientifically certain than ever, demand for it has created a niche industry.


Is Beyonce the Face of Contemporary Feminism?
Clutch Magazine: 20-something-year-old women are ready to showcase the multidimensionality of womanhood: we can be intelligent, independent, powerful, family-oriented, and sexy without having an identity crisis.

Hollywood’s Diversity Problem Predictably Blamed On The Recession
Jezebel: The latest Writers’ Guild report indicates that in many instances, women and minority TV and film writers lost ground in comparison to white males.

The Rules for Depicting Abortion in Hollywood
Feministing: In pop culture, most representations adhere to a set of ten rules – commandments, if you will.  For example, “If your character has an abortion, make sure she is impregnated by a really bad guy.”


Sports Hijab Lets Islamic Women Throw Some Punches
AFP: Iranian-born Canadian designer Elham Seyed Javad came up with an solution to allow young girls and women to take part in physical activities while also adhering to strict Islamic rules.

Cheerleading May Finally Be Recognized as a Sport
Jezebel: For years the debate has raged over whether cheerleading is a sexist activity that exists so girls can shake more than pom poms while wearing skimpy uniforms, or a rigorous sport consisting of difficult gymnastic maneuvers and stunts.

Summer support group for sexual assault, abuse survivors

The Rape Crisis Center of Medina and Summit Counties is running a summer session of its support group “Moving Forward.”

This nonclinical, psycho-educational group is open to adult women who have suffered sexual assault and/or childhood sexual abuse.  If you know someone who would like to participate or have any questions, please contact Denice at 330-374-0740, Ext. 124 before May 31.

Please feel free to distribute the information below to colleagues, clients, friends or family in the greater Akron area.

Unforgettable: Female protagonists in lit

Dr. Rosa Githiora, interim director of the UA Women’s Resource Center, sent us a link to a post listing “The 50 Most Unforgettable Female Protagonists in Literature.”

Some you will immediately recognize — like Jane Eyre. Others you won’t. Get the list here.

Congratulations to UA women

University of Akron women have much to be proud of, and here are two items worth noting.

The University of Akron’s women’s tennis team has won the MAC title and earned a berth in the NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Championship. The Zips meet Michigan in the opening round Saturday at 1 p.m. in Ann Arbor, Mich. Read the full story on

Left to Right: Natalia Kuvakina, Prang Pantusart, Angelina Jogasuria, Jeremie Benjamin, Zara Harutyunyan, Angelika Jogasuria, Anya Baronayte. Photo courtesy of UA Athletics.

Dr. Kathryn Feltey, associate professor of sociology and interim director of the University of Akron Women’s Studies Program, was recently honored by the North Central Sociological Association. The NCSA presented Feltey with the 2011 Aida Tomeh Distinguished Service Award. Read the full story.