Catherine Furey, 38, of the UK, died in December 2010 after drinking concentrated vinegar, a DIY abortion she read about on the Internet. Furey had a “violent reaction” to the vinegar, was rushed to the hospital and died.
The details of her death have only now come out in relation to a trial against Furey’s sister-in-law, Dawn Chadwick, who handed Furey the vinegar bottle. Arrested in 2011, Chadwick was later charged with “unlawfully supplying a poisonous or noxious substance with the intent to cause the miscarriage of a woman.” The charge was later upgraded to manslaughter, but she was eventually cleared of wrongdoing. The families of the two women, through their lawyers, have issued statements saying they do not blame the sister-in-law for Catherine Furey’s death. Keep reading »
A doctor, a dentist, and an alternative medicine practitioner were all secretly filmed offering to perform or arrange female genital mutilation (FGM), according to the UK Guardian. FGM involves removing all or part of the external female genitalia, and sometimes sewing the opening to the vagina shut. It’s all supposedly for the purpose of making it impossible for a woman to have sex for pleasure and therefore ensuring her “purity” upon marriage.
The so-called “female circumcisions” are performed on girls as young as 5 and is widespread across Africa; you can read more about FGM on the World Health Organization’s web site. Thankfully, human rights and women’s rights activists across the continent are condemning the horrific procedure. As such, both performing FGM and arranging for it to be performed are illegal in the UK. But that doesn’t stop FGM from occurring in the UK: the Guardian claims 100K women in the country have been mutilated. I hope those doctors know FGM carries a 14 year prison sentence and are shaking in their boots/heels. [Guardian UK; Telegraph UK]
You might think that advocates for victims of domestic violence might be thrilled about a proposal that would, in theory, positively affect their life’s work. So why is a new pilot program called “Clare’s Law,” spearheaded by the father of a woman murdered by her abusive partner and set to go into effect this summer, getting a cool reception? Keep reading »
Talk about an “extreme makeover”: a UK high school removed mirrors from the girls’ bathrooms after girls flouted the dress code rules about makeup. Shelley College in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, once allowed female pupils over age 14 to wear “discreet” makeup. But “five or six girls … the ones who wear the most makeup” continually overdid it in the tastefulness department, so the school felt forced to respond. Now all female students except for those in their six form (the British equivalent of 12th grade) are forbidden from wearing makeup at school and mirrors have been removed from the girls’ bathrooms to boot! “There comes a point when you need to stop teachers spending half an hour in the day talking to girls about their make-up,” the school principal told the UK’s Daily Mail. “It is more sensible to say it’s not allowed.” All teachers have been given makeup remover in case a girl runs afoul of the ban. Keep reading »
Are you desperate for British citizenship? There was a time when you’d have to find a nice British national to marry you. But no more! Now all you have to do to set up permanent residence in the UK is win an Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe, or BAFTA or at least get nominated for one of these awards. Yep, you read that right. Yesterday the British government signed into law a new immigration class—Tier 1—that’s designed to attract celebrities and those of “exceptional talent.”
As the Hollywood Reporter points out, this is very unfortunate timing. Considering that London and several other British cities are entering their fourth night of riots, in which major looting is happening, many buildings are burning, and four people have died so far. Keep reading »
Deadbeat dads should be stigmatized by society just like drunk drivers, UK Prime Minister David Cameron wrote in a Father’s Day article for the Telegraph newspaper. Cameron blasted what he called “runaway” fathers and said society should be “genuinely hostile” and make them feel the “full force of shame heaped upon them.” The prime minister wrote:
“They should be looked at like [drunk] drivers, people who are beyond the pale. They need the message rammed home to them, from every part of our culture, that what they’re doing is wrong — that leaving single mothers, who do a heroic job against all odds, to fend for themselves simply isn’t acceptable.”
He also tooted his own horn on his plan to give tax breaks to married couples, which some people believe encourage stability. Keep reading »
Holy “Twilight“-ization of pop culture, Edward Cullen! Vampires are used to sell everything nowadays — even teeth-cleaning. The UK’s National Health Service debuted a bodice-heaving, undead-themed commercial to lure toothy British dudes to the dentist. (According to Yahoo, 16- to 34-year-old men “are notoriously lax about their dental appointments.” Ack! These guys should come with warning labels.) As much as I think vampires are over, this ad is super-clever, no? [Yahoo] Keep reading »
I love a superheroine as much as the next feminist, especially one who loves the fuzzy am-i-nals as much as I do. Meet “Black Arrow,” an anonymous British woman who fights evil in the form of people who abuse their pets. “I make sure people aren’t abusing their animals,” Black Arrow told The Sun newspaper. “I serve justice to those who deserve it. We stand for those who cannot, because we can.” (Unfortunately, the tabloid-eriffic Sun didn’t get a single detail on just how Black Arrow does this.) For six years, the London lass has stuck up for animals who are abused — presumably without crassly objectifying women in the process. You hear that, PETA? [The Sun UK, Coventry Telegraph UK] Keep reading »