England: 1, Roman Catholic Church: 0

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In a precedent-setting decision yesterday, the London High Court ruled that the U.K.’s Roman Catholic Church can be held liable for the sexual misconduct of its priests. The ruling came in the case of a 47-year-old woman who alleged that she was raped by the now-deceased Father Wilfred Baldwin at a children’s home during the […]

Gender Equality in the Monarchy: First Born Takes the Throne

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At their summit in Perth, Australia, the leaders of the 16 Commonwealth countries unanimously agreed to change throne succession rules. In the future, sons and daughters of the British monarch will have equal right to the throne. That means that if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Will and Kate) have a daughter first, she […]

Do Italian Sex Scandals Lower Women’s Legitimate Job Chances?

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When Teresa “Terry” De Nicolò, a 39-year-old escort and regular visitor of Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, was interviewed by a public television program last June, she defended a woman’s right to see her body as a marketable asset: Beauty is an economic value and must be sold like any other skill. If you are […]

Pope Makes Less-Than-Triumphant Return Home

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Pope Benedict XVI is in his native Germany for a long weekend, but it’s not going to be a party. Many German Catholics have turned their backs on the ancient institution and parted ways–180,000 in 2010 alone–as allegations of sexual abuse by priests continue to surface. The Pope is coming home to a Germany that […]

“Rotis not Riots” Offers England Food for Thought

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In the vacuum of discussions connecting women to this month’s ferocious riots in England, a group called “Rotis not Riots” launched on Facebook this week “to make sense of this unprecedented violence from a feminist perspective.” The group emerged from a casual conversation between three women dealing with the helplessness they felt in the aftermath […]

Female Decision-Makers Set to Lose Out in Britain

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The U.S. isn’t the only country in which harsh deficit-cutting measures have been proposed. Right now, Britain’s coalition government is laying out plans for an ambitious public services reform program in the name of cutting the UK’s deficit. The government is seeking to overhaul everything from police to pensions to the number of politicians in […]

Echoes of Online Misogyny in Norway Murderer’s Manifesto

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We all know that Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, who killed dozens of people in attacks last Friday, was motivated by a toxic mélange of far-right ideology largely revolving around his intense hatred of Islam. The 1,500-page “manifesto” he posted to the Internet–a grab-bag of his own writing and material cut and pasted from assorted […]

British Judges Free Child Rapists, Say 12-Year-Old Girls “Wanted” Sex

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In March, six British soccer players confessed to gang-raping two 12-year-old girls and were sentenced to two years behind bars. But last week, an Appeal Court overturned the sentence, and all of the men were freed. The reasoning? “The girls wanted to have sex,” said Lord Justice Moses, who was among the deciding judges. “And […]

Feminists: Bring Out Your Beards!

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As scores of people lined the streets of Paris yesterday in celebration of Bastille Day, they may have noticed something slightly odd about the statues of women around the city: Many of them–even the famous Marianne de Paris–were wearing beards. La Barbe, the Paris-based feminist group responsible for these facial-hair installments, has been enlivening French […]

A Russian Front in the Abortion Wars

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In June, The New York Times’ Sophia Kishkovsky published a piece about alarming news that’s been buzzing in reproductive rights circles for the last couple of weeks–Russia has embraced its very own anti-choice movement, and it looks strikingly like ours here in the U.S. This is not news to me. I encountered the nascent Russian […]