the digital giraffe - Y Not

All About Women

Our Woman of the Month Award for January goes to Dr. Ellie Lobel, whose pioneering work in the treatment of Lyme disease has eased the suffering of many patients. Dr. Lobel holds a Bachelor's degree in engineering and a PhD in Nuclear Physics. She herself has suffered from Lyme Disease for 15 years. After being attacked by a swarm of killer bees, she began to recover and then developed a bee venom protocol which has just now received official recognition. She criss-crosses the country on her Bee Bus Mission, supported entirely by donations, to educate patients and doctors about Bee Venom Therapy. Here is an additional description of both the effects of Lyme Disease and the treatment methodology.

Note: Woman of the Month now has its own page in the giraffe.com archives section.

"The Power" , Naomi Alderman's feminist novel, is seeing increased sales in the United States. Originally published on October 10, it won the Women's Prize for Fiction in the U.K. and has appeared on several "Top 10" lists for 2017. The novel's theme of women standing up to sexual harrassment seems to have resonated strongly with readers.

Sweden is putting into place a new rape law that would require explicit verbal consent before intercourse. Under current law, rape can only be charged if it was accompanied by violence or threats. With the proposed legislation, rape is charged if the sexual contact was not consensual.

During the 2013 - 2014 academic year, men gave twice as many university talks as women did. The Rice University study described these talks as an "important career-building opportunity". Those chosen to speak get more importance in the community, find increased offers of jobs or promotions, or can broadcast their research findings. The study was conducted using 3,652 talks in six disciplines that typically attract more female participation, like psychology and political science.

Iran's courageous female stand-up comedian reports getting threats and being sworn at, as she attempts to overturn the taboo against women who perform.28-year-old Zeynab Mousavi is the person behind the internet sensation Empress Kuzcooo, who wears an overblown hijab with only her nose showing as she gives sermons in front of an open wardrobe. Mousavi has stated, "I'm not (performing as) a woman, or an Iranian, nor a Muslim. I'm not even pretty, nothing. I'm just a comedian. Just watch my comedy."

David Salle, he of the shaped geometric canvases and sculptures, has written an extensive review of two new books about Louise Bourgeois. Salle writes of Bourgeois' gift for exposing feelings that people tend to hide, like shame, anger, jealousy. Bourgeois was constantly revising her works, making adjustments or changes as they occurred to her. After a prolonged creative slump in the 1950's, she began an extensive revitalization, producing images that ranged from tiny 5" tall engravings to huge public sculptures. Salle particularly appreciates her small graphic drawings, which strike him as sophisticated cartoons, and her understaning of the power of white space. She was not afraid to tackle subjects like panic, claustrophobia, helplessness. And he remarks on the presence of hair, women's hair, throughout her work.

Sandra Bullock and Rihanna have produced the first trailer for the new movie Ocean's 8, an all-women crime story. The women plot to pull off a major heist at a Met Gala. The film is due to appear in U.S. theaters in June, 2018, folowed by Australia and the U.K.

Some courageous women have been able to survive the hell of war in Yemen and have managed to set up businesses for themselves. Surrounded by famine and cholera, they have nonetheless started bakeries or selling vegetables, making them the sole providers in a country where the men have gone to war. Sometimes they use their sewing skills to create products that sell in Djibouti for about $4.00. Many of the women find that their male family members are shocked by the idea of a woman in business.

According to the Huffington Post, gender equality has fallen this year for the first time since statistics were studied in 2006. The data indicate that more than 2 centuries will have to pass befoe women achieve wage equality with men around the globe. 144 nations were included in the report, which reveals that although wages generally have risen, women have not participated in those increases.

A graphic video from Afghanistan has created outrage as a symbol of the exploitation of women. It is reported that the woman was pressured for sex after she asked for a promotion. The act itself is magnified in a society where sexual harassment is hardly ever discussed in public, although it is known to be rampant. The video was made secretly and given to friends of the victim. The woman's account was upheld by others, who verified that the Colonel was known to line women up in his office and taunt them.

A journalist in Egypt has been sentenced to 3 years in jail after she appeared on TV and asked whether her audience had considered sex before marriage. Doaa Salah also suggested that women marry just to have children and then get divorced. She went on to inform her audience that sperm donation was acceptable in countries ouside of Egypt. Ms. Salah was charged with offending public decency.

Each year in the United States roughly 700 women die from complications of chldbirth. Although average life expectancy has been rising in this country, deaths from pregancy-related issues appear to be on the rise, whereas it is falling in other developed nations. In fact, the death rate for pregnant women here more than doubled between 1987 and 2013. In 31 industriaized countries, only Mexico had a worse maternal fatality record.

A study from the Political Economy Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst indicates that although the number of jobs open to women has increased worldwide over the past 3 decades, the number of "good" jobs for women in the industrial sectors has fallen. This seems partially due to the decrease in industrial jobs overall, with the result that the scarce positions have been given to men rather than women. In other words, men keep the better jobs for themselves. Other contributing factors are addressed here as well.

White luggage tags bearing political messages are being found on flights to Ireland and Northern Ireland this holiday season. The tags carry the message "HEALTHCARE NOT AIRFARE #Repealthe8th#/TrustWomen". The reference is to the 8th amendment to Ireland's constitution, which in 1983 banned almost all abortions, forcing women to travel out of the country to have an abortion.

Horrific stories are coming out of one of the world's biggest refugee camps where Rohingya women flee for their lives. Over half the population of the camp is under the age of 18 and the preponderance of the adult population is female. Many of these survivors have been raped at gunpoint. Some have seen their families murdered, raped and tortured. In some cases helicopters were wiping out entire villages from above. Bangladeshi soldiers guard the center so that no one can leave, with the result that criminal activities have flourished. It is altogether a disgraceful event in the life of humanity.

c. Corinne Whitaker 2017

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