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CALL FOR PAPERS: “The Ethics of State Involvement in Women’s Health”

How do the laws and policies of a nation-state affect women's health?  Is the state invested in these issues because women are seen to be bearers and nurturers of future citizens?  Or are there are other concerns such as economic development, human welfare, or religious ideology that shape this engagement?  What are the current and historical responsibilities of the state in addressing women’s health issues?  How can they be measured and improved upon, and how do we approach the underlying ethical issues in practical and useful ways for women around the globe?

The USC Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics, USC Center for International Studies, and the USC Institute for Global Health are co-hosting a symposium on Monday, April 5, 2010 to address these and related questions.  This multidisciplinary event will bring together participants from international relations, global public health, philosophy, gender and women’s studies, anthropology, sociology, religious studies, economics, psychology, and political science.  Travel awards are available to all selected participants.

Conference co-chairs:

Alison Dundes Renteln, Ph.D, J.D., Professor of Political Science &
Anthropology, USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Jonathan M. Samet, M.D., M.S., Director, USC Institute for Global Health,
Professor and Flora L. Thornton Chair, Department of Preventive Medicine,
Keck School of Medicine

arvan's picture

Call for Entries: 5th Annual Good For Her Feminist Porn Awards

The Fifth Annual Good For Her Feminist Porn Awards

April 8th & 9th 2010

Toronto, Canada


Good for Her is thrilled to present the Fifth Annual Feminist Porn Awards. The Feminist Porn Awards honor pornographers whose groundbreaking work offers a fresh perspective on the sexual expression of women and everyone who finds themselves under-represented in mainstream pornography.

The official nomination period for consideration for the Good For Her Feminist Porn Awards opens on October 5, 2009 and will close on January 31, 2010.

In order to be considered for a Feminist Porn Award, submissions must meet at least 1 of the following criteria:

1)      A woman had a hand in the production, writing, direction etc. of the work.

2)      The work depicts genuine female pleasure

3)      The work expands the boundaries of sexual representation on film, challenges stereotypes and presents a vision that sets the content apart from most mainstream pornography

Categories for awards may include, but are not limited to: Canadian Content, Diverse Cast/Representation, Emerging Filmmaker, Independent, International, Kink/Fetish, Lesbian/Dyke, Short Film, Straight, Trans, and Web-Based.

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Report on Violence against Women’s Rights Activists in Iran

By Change for Equality

The following report, outlines the pressures faced by activists involved in the One Million Signatures Campaign, including arrests, summons, sentences, travel bans, and search of property.  The report was compiled in November 2009 and updated in late December 2009.  Several of the members of the Campaign who have been arrested in the past few weeks days are not included in the report, including:

Somayeh Rashidi, was arrested on December 19 after appearing in court in response to a summons. Her home had been searched on December 14 and her personal property was seized.  There is no information about the reason for her arrest and she has not been allowed to visit with her family or lawyer since her arrests. In a telephone call to her family, Somayeh informed them that she is being held in Ward 209 of Evin prison, which is managed by the Intelligence Ministry.

Shiva Nazar Ahari, a member of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters and a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign was arrested on her way to attend the funeral of Ayatollah Montazeri, in Qom, on December 20.  This is the second time she has been arrested in relation to her human rights activities since the Presidential elections in June.  The first time, she was arrested on June 14th and released almost four months on a bail of $202,039.  Her arrest is part of an ongoing crackdown against the members of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters.  Currently seven members of this human rights organization are in prison.

Atiyeh Yousefi, activist in the One Million Signatures Campaign in Rasht [Gilan province, northern Iran], is currently being held in Lakan Prison in Rasht, without any reason having been given for her detention.  Five days after Atiyeh Yousefi’s arrest, her family still has no information on the arrest warrant issued for her, and have not managed to arrange a meeting with the judge presiding over her case.  Atiyeh Yousefi was arrested while seeking to give assistance to a young man who had been severely beaten by plainclothes security officers on the day of Ashura [27th December 2009].  On 1st January her family was able to visit her in Lakan Prison.  They gave a good report of her morale and stated that she is being subjected to lengthy and ongoing interrogations.

arvan's picture

Mourning Mothers Arrested in Laleh Park, Tehran


On Saturday afternoon (9th January) a number of the Mourning Mothers and their supporters were once again arrested in Laleh Park in Tehran.  According to one of the Mourning Mothers, around thirty women were arrested. (Change for Equality)

“A number of us fled.  They stopped the cars of those who had cars and who had gone towards them.  The families of those arrested went to the Vozara Detention Centre in order to inquire about their condition.  One mother commented that "they read the names out at Vozara.  Tomorrow at 9 a.m. all the families and friends are due to meet at Vozara and the judge who is supervising the case will also come."

The Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has demanded the release of the Mourning Mothers in a statement, in the following words:

"Today at sunset thirty of the Mourning Mothers and their supporters were arrested in Laleh Park and its environs after an assault by over one hundred members of the security forces and plain clothes officers, after which they were transferred to the Vozara Detention Centre."

Hadi Ghaemi, spokesperson for the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, said:

"In no culture is it acceptable to deal with mothers in such a way, let alone when those who claim to be the defenders of morality are dealing with mothers who have seen their children become victims of injustice.  The Islamic Republic of Iran must recognize that the Mourning Mothers and their supporters will be not be satisfied except by an appropriate response to their demands."

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"Femme" Ain't Always Easy

"It's so much easier for feminine lesbians than butch lesbians” so the story goes. I know what lesbian folks usually mean when they say this.

arvan's picture

Current feminist issues : conquering our differences to create real solidarity


Public Discussion on Feminisms, Division and Solidarity

February 9, 2010 from 18h to 21h

Université du Québec à Montréal  [UQAM(room tbc)

Political discussion with a presentation by Alexandre Baril and Janik Bastien Charlebois.  Refreshments available / Free event open to all.

The feminist movement is plural : it is composed of several waves and organizations that sometimes rally together (around abortion and violence issues for example) and sometimes oppose each other (sex work/prostitution, transidentities, non-mixity etc.)  However, our enemies are common ones : sexism, first of all, but also racism, classism, heteronormativity (lesbophobia, homophobia, bisphobia...), etc.  It would therefore be very advantageous for us to unite our forces and energies, while respecting our differences.

The divisions within the feminist movement weaken us, slow us down, and can often cause confrontation, sometimes violent, between perspectives.  This energy should be refocused on the fight against various forms of oppression instead of being used to reconstruct power dynamics within our own networks.

Moreover, the domination of a single feminist perspective sometimes hinders us from considering all aspects of an issue before forming an opinion.  In the same way, certain groups of women can find themselves unheard, and therefore excluded.

Whereas today everyone can agree that identities are plural (defined by sex, sexual orientation, class, ethnicity, etc.), it is often more difficult to accept that one person can subscribe to multiple feminist theories.  Thus we often think that we have to subscribe to one wave of feminism, as well as all of its political positions.  However just like identity, our theoretical and political identity can be multiple (being a radical feminist AND queer, for example).

There are feminist perspectives that propose this kind of openness, this eclecticism : a feminist à la carte of sorts!

PolitiQ (website) wishes to open the debate on this subject and work towards the future of inclusive feminism.

arvan's picture

Davos 2010 - an appeal to end FGM now

An appeal to the World Economic Forum to help to end female genital mutilation, within our lifetimes.

Julia Lalla-Maharajh is one of 5 finalists in YouTube Davos shortlist hoping to work with world leaders to end female genital mutilation.  Watch this and if you like it, go vote for it and this effort at

Davos is the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, held in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland between 27-31 January, 2010.  The meeting brings together top business leaders, international political leaders, and journalists to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world today. In 2010, the organizing theme is, "Improve the State of the World: Rethink, Redesign and Rebuild". 

You can find out more at

LaPrincipessa's picture

How Advice-Media Harms Women

You’ve seen them, I’ve seen them, and we’ve all read them: recent headlines heavily featuring advice to women about sex, mental health and physical fitness. Everyone has a advice for women these days, and the articles are becoming increasingly inflammatory and degrading. Women should get more sleep in the New Year.

Working women are more “unhappy”, whatever that means. Women gain weight when married, how to avoid this, and why. Women should get a mammogram at 40, no 50, no really, 40 is the correct age. Women need to do x, y and z to cajole men into their bedroom. How to keep a man. How to lose a man. How women can become sexy. How women should accept their bodies. How women should reject their bodies and become more fit.

How do these messages affect women? What message and dialogue do these articles and advice columns perpetuate?

arvan's picture

No News on Atiyeh Yousefi’s Situation

By Change for Equality

Atiyeh Yousefi, activist in the One Million Signatures Campaign in Rasht [Gilan province, northern Iran], is currently being held in Lakan Prison in Rasht, without any reason having been given for her detention.

Five days after Atiyeh Yousefi’s arrest, her family still has no information on the arrest warrant issued for her, and have not managed to arrange a meeting with the judge presiding over her case.

Atiyeh Yousefi was arrested while seeking to give assistance to a young man who had been severely beaten by plainclothes security officers on the day of Ashura [27th December 2009].

arvan's picture

CFP: E-SWIP Virtual Conference

12-18 April 2010


The Eastern Division of the Society for Women in Philosophy (ESWIP) kindly invites submissions for its 2010 Spring conference.  Abstracts (500 words), papers (2500 words), panel proposals, and roundtable discussion proposals will be considered. We welcome submissions in non-traditional formats.  Proposals for panels should include the names of all participants and each of their papers or abstracts.

In order to promote greater accessibility – to those with limited travel funds, to those with disabilities, and to those not within easy travel distance to the Eastern United States – ESWIP is excited to convene its first virtual conference.  Panels will post each day from Monday, 12 April to Friday, 16 April; comments will remain open until midnight on Sunday 18 April, at which point they will be closed.  All participants will log in to a secure site, so work and commenting is available only to registered participants.

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