In the News – on austerity, “revenge porn” and child sexual abuse
That “austerity is a feminist issue” is now a well-used idiom does not mean it’s any less true. Look at the latest gender breakdown of cuts released this month and what’s striking is that nothing’s changing. According to Sarah Champion, the shadow equalities minister, 86% of the burden of austerity has fallen on women since 2010 – a figure that remains entirely static from last year. Inequality is business as usual: by 2020, a decade on from when austerity first began, men will still have borne just 14% of the total burden of “welfare” cuts.
This unequal impact isn’t just contained within the benefit system, but rather spreads to many of the choices the Conservatives are making. NHS and local government cuts of course affect men as well, but as women are a vast chunk of the public sector workforce, they are hurt most when public services are squeezed. Similarly, although it’s rarely talked about in such terms, the crisis in social care is in many ways gendered: it’s largely women who make up home care and agency staff – insecure, low-paid work – while it’s also women who are the bulk of family carers for disabled children and elderly parents. When a council cuts a care package, it’s largely wives, mothers, and daughters doing the unpaid labour to plug the gap. ...
Hard-hitting posters highlighting the dangers of so-called "revenge porn" have been launched by the Scottish government.
They show a mobile phone with nude pictures covered in crime scene tape.
And they warn that anyone who shares, or threatens to share, intimate images without consent could face a tough prison sentence.
Under new laws that come into force later this year, offenders could by jailed for up to five years.
The posters are part of a Scottish government campaign to raise awareness of the new Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm Act. ...
... And that’s the implication today, in The Times. The headline, which reads “Abuser jailed after girl, 13, listed lovers on her iPad”, is among the most oddly assembled sentences I’ve ever read. Can a 13 year old have a lover? And if we are calling the man an “abuser”, does that mean he also qualifies as one of her “lovers”?
The report of the story doesn’t get any less bizarre. “A 13-year-old girl named seven lovers aged between 14 and 27 on a list that she kept on her iPad, a court was told.” There’s that word again. Lover. It’s something we associate with romance novels found at car boot sales, not the sexual abuse of children. The story goes on to describe the reaction of the child’s mother (who has, apparently, “lost her little girl”) and the supposed guilt of the girl’s family. There is no clarification as to what or who this guilt is for. Were they guilty for leaving their child vulnerable to abuse? Guilty about the imprisonment of her rapist – sorry – lover? ...Download this post as PDF? Click here