The Wednesday Five


How the UK’s Incoming Female Prime Minister Voted on Women’s Issues

440px-Theresa_May_2015It might be gearing up to be the Year of Women when we think about our global political landscape. After the post-Brexit fallout, Conservative MP Theresa May is set to become the UK’s second female Prime Minister, following in the shoes of the indomitable Margaret Thatcher. In tandem, Linda Yang at VICE examined May’s record of voting on key women’s issues: reproductive rights, equal pay and maternity rights, among others. Among the standouts, Yang highlights the MP’s commitment to combating violence against women:

“While under May’s leadership in 2015, the Home Office introduced a coercive control law that would impose a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a fine for domestic violence. The law was the first of its kind to recognize the complexity of abuse patterns that allow for violence within the home.”




Egyptian Women Use Social Media to Test Roles

The Facebook group is called:“Confessions of a Married Woman!” It has over 45,000 members. But it is not a publicity forum. Instead, it is social media with a cause. Dahlia Kholaif writes in The Wall Street Journal that the invitation-only Facebook group is growing rapidly in Egypt, “a country where women often face harassment and violence.” The women who have been accepted are using the online forum to “ask sensitive questions about  sex and vent about the everyday challenges Egyptian women face.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal.

RELATED: New Book Explores the Secret Lives of Young Arab Women



A Vogue for Self-Exposure Reduces Feminism to Naked Navel-Gazing

In a column in The Guardian on the current state of feminism, as espoused by celebrity millennial women, Rafia Zakaria, the author of The Upstairs Wife: An Intimate History of Pakistan, argues that the trend to conflate feminism with a woman’s prerogative for self-exposure, via intensely intimate confessional writing, has reduced the movement to “naked navel-gazing.” Zakaria offers:

We are now in a time where the avowal of nakedness (both physical and emotional) is key, where the publicly exposed woman is truly courageous. The line between titillation and transgression is a fine one and in a voyeuristic world that expects women to all be coquettish exhibitionists, titillation does feminists no favours. To borrow Bitch Media founder Andi Zeisler’s argument in We Were Feminists Once, what we are seeing now is feminism used as a brand; dislocated and disconnected from any collective political project. Sex has always sold well – but feminist sex sells even better.

Read the full column at The Guardian.

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