Should Older, Lonely Women Considering Becoming Lesbians?

Australia’s government-funded Relationships Australia has a bit of advice for older single women having trouble finding companionship — give lesbianism a try! Seriously.

The Herald Sun quoted Relationships Australia spokesman Jack Carney as saying,

As they get over 60, opportunities [for women] to get a man diminish substantially. Men marry younger women and they die about eight years younger, so there is a real male shortage.

And as women get even older it gets much worse, so we ask them to entertain the idea of lesbian relationships.


Older women urged to become lesbians. Herald Sun, August 10, 2003.

UK Children, But Not Parents, Given Right to Sue for False Child Abuse Claims

A Court of Appeals in Great Britain in July rejected claims of parents who wanted to sue doctors and social workers over false claims of child abuse, but it did rule that children involved in such cases could sue doctors and social workers.

In the UK doctors and social workers are legally obligated to report any suspected abuse. The Court of Appeals heard the claims of three couples who wanted to sue health care and social workers for negligence for falsely accusing them of abuse and, in one case, taking a child away from parents for almost 9 months.

In one case a woman was accused of Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy, but ultimately it turned out that the child in question simply had severe allergies. In another case a father was accused of abusing his daughter, but it later turned out that she had a rare skin disease. Finally, an infant daughter was removed from the home of a couple for more than nine months after the girl’s parents were accused of breaking her leg. The girl was later diagnosed with a rare genetic condition which renders the bones extremely brittle.

The Court of Appeals ruled that although parents had no grounds to sue, that the children did under the Human Rights Act which requires the state to protect the rights of children. The court’s decision will likely be appealed.


Children can sue over abuse claims. The BBC, July 31, 2003.

Victims of child care errors win right to sue. Clare Dyer, The Guardian, August 1, 2003.

Driving While Male and Minority

The Boston Globe published an extensive look at speeding tickets written in Massachusetts and came to a rather unsurprising conclusion — if you want to speed in that state (and likely most other states) it pays to be a young white woman.

Examining 166,000 tickets and warnings from every police department in Massachusetts over a two month period, the Globe found that tickets were biased against men and minorities.

For example, considering drivers pulled over for going 45 mph in a 30 mph zone. According to the Globe’s analysis, the odds of getting a ticket in such a situation are,

  • 28 percent for white women
  • 34 percent for white men
  • 44 percent for minority women
  • 52 percent for minority men

The Globe did note one important exception to this — Massachusetts State Police. In the Globe’s analysis, there was almost no disparity involved in race, sex, or age in the issuing of tickets.

The advantage that women had, not surprisingly, declined with age. For elderly women, for example, the percentage who received tickets was roughly the same as the percentage of elderly men who received tickets for speeding.


Race, sex, and age drive ticketing. Bill Dedman, Boston Globe, July 20, 2003.

UK’s The Spectator Sells Pyramid Schemes as Female Empowerment

A couple years ago this web site wrote about the pyramid schemes popular in Great Britain that target women using feminist jargon. But leave it to the idiots at UK newsmagazine The Spectator to run a cover story by Rachel Royce extolling the virtues of the so-called “Hearts” schemes.

It’s interesting to see how these cons change over time. Eighty years ago Charles Ponzi used people’s vanity and desire for money to separate them from their money. This being the 21st century, Royce falls instead for sisterhood rhetoric,

The scheme I’ve invested in is known as Hearts, and it’s for women only. It calls itself a ‘gifting scheme that benefits all women.’ Men aren’t allowed in because they’d ruin it with their incessant cynicism and greed. They aren’t supposed to know about it. That, in a way, is the point.

Of course. Why didn’t anyone ever see this before — the only reason pyramid schemes don’t typically work is because of all of those greedy males who are participating. Make it an all-feminine thing, and the laws of mathematics simply disappear.

This is particularly ironic given how Royce vacillates between calling her participation in this pyramid scheme an “investment” at times and a “gamble” at others. She is correct in calling it a gamble, but it is an odd sort of gamble. The way to make money in a pyramid scheme is to be one of the initial people involved. Those folks end up making money, but only by leaving those who enter later high and dry (since the pyramid scheme requires exponentially more gamblers as time goes by until it falls apart under its own weight).

So while Royce is complaining about male avarice, the reality is that if she sees any return on her gamble, it will be at the expense of dozens of women who themselves will not stand a snowball’s chance in hell of recouping their initial outlay. Sisterhood is powerful . . . and exploitative.

But Royce has the temerity to defend ripping off her friends as some sort of test of commitment to feminism,

Of course, I wonder about the morality of introducing my friends — and their friends — to something which might lose them money. The worry is that the original, upper-middle-class women will soon run out of rich friends and, under great pressure to bring in cash, start to recruit their cleaners. At this point, of course, investing becomes a much more dangerous proposition. But to disapprove of the scheme on these grounds is to suggest that women are incapable of understanding the risk and that, the poorer a woman is, the less choice she should have.

Rich or poor, however, these women are responsible for their own actions. That in a way is what this little scam is all about: allowing women the responsibility to make financial decisions and giving them the rather glorious feeling of naughty financial independence.

Why not just take the money into a corner, light it with a match, and watch it burn? You’d get the same effect.


Girls just want to have funds. Rachel Royce, The Spectator (UK), July 12, 2003.

Men in South Africa Arrested for Botched Male Ritual Circumcision

The BBC reports that five “traditional surgeons” were arrested this month in South Africa following the deaths of at least 20 boys from complications resulting from botched circumcisions. Another 100 boys were injured, in some case experiencing severe beatings.

The boys all belong to the Xhosa ethnic group which uses male circumcision as a rite of passage into adulthood. Typically boys are taken off to a remote location by a group of male adults where they are forced to undergo rigorous circumstances culminating in circumcision. Often the circumcision is performed with crude, unsterilized instruments such as knives.

According to the BBC, a law was recently introduced in South Africa that would make such ritual circumcisions illegal unless those involved are all 18 years of age or older.


South Africa circumcision deaths. The BBC, July 15, 2003.

Up-Skirt Filming Banned in Washington State

On May 12, Washington State Gov. Gary Locke signed into law legislation banning so-called “up-skirt” filming of women in public places.

In 2002 two men were arrested and charged with violating Washington’s anti-voyeur statutes after they were caught surreptitiously filming up the skirts of women at and outdoor festival. A state court ruled, however, that such activities were not covered by the anti-voyeur statute (largely, as one Washington state representative put it, because nobody in the legislature imagined anyone would engage in this sort of activity).

Once some initial partisan posturing was out of the way, the law sailed through Washington’s legislature, passing its Senate in an unanimous 97-0 vote in April. It makes up-skirting filming a felony punishable by up to a year in jail.


Legislature 2003: Locke signs up-skirt camera ban: Violators of voyeurism law face 3- to 12-month term. Steven Friederich, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 13, 2003.

‘Up-skirt’ camera ban goes to Locke. Seattle Post-Intelligencer, April 23, 2003.

Law targets ‘Up-Skirt’ filming. Reuters, January 3, 2003.