Today in Awkward Diplomatic Kerfluffles: the entire country of Ukraine is pissed at the entire country of The Netherlands for airing a commercial that implies sexy, sexy Ukrainian women are a bunch of husband-stealing sexpots. The ad was made by a Dutch energy company called NLE and references the Euro 2012 soccer games, which will be hosted by the Ukraine. (On a side note, any other Americans find it utterly impossible to keep Europoeans and their various soccer tournaments straight?!) The ad shows a woman Googling the words “Ukrainian women” and coming up with images of super sexy hot Ukrainian ladies. She then immediately goes and purchases an at-home beer tap, presumably so her husband will stay on his couch and not leave her for some random blonde chick in the Ukraine during a soccer match. Ukraine is now pissy that the commercial will affect tourism during the Euro 2012 games. 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]
Today in India is a celebration called Akshaya Tritiya, a Hindu and Jain holy day which is marked by mass marriages. But human rights supporters in India, such as UNICEF, are using the day to draw attention to a less jubilant topic: child brides. Child marriage is officially illegal in India, but that hasn’t stopped too many families from marrying off their young daughters ages 5 to 12 to older “grooms” — which is another way of saying sex slavery. Today, the Wall Street Journal points out one of the more controversial of the anti-child marriage campaigns, called The Girl Store, a website set up to look like an online retailer that advertises “100 percent genuine girls. Young. Innocent. And available. Experience the sensation of buying a girl.” Keep reading »
Just call her She-Hulk: a 24-year-old redhead went Marvel Comics on a subway perv who exposed himself to her while riding the Boston T. The anonymous woman said she was listening to music on a crowded B-line when she saw a man hovering over her, exposing himself. She started screaming for help, she told the Boston Herald, but none of the other passengers came to her aid. In fact, one male passenger shrugged, she said. So “She-Hulk” came out: as the perv tried to run away at one stop, she grabbed his sweatshirt and “berated” him as she called the cops — even while the guy was struggling to get away. The 37-year-old perv, Michael Galvin, has been charged with open and gross lewdness. The woman (who, like most superheroes, prefers to hide under a cloak of anonymity to protect her privacy) said she’d just had enough. “I’ve had enough of being harassed on the street. I’m tired of it and I want it to end. It was the last straw,” she said. “He kept saying sorry, but he was just sorry for himself.” Respect, sister. [Boston Herald]