Parkour & women: No Comment

Parkour or ‘free running’  is described as a sport.  When I first  saw a video of it, I felt I was  watching human lemmings, going right for the literal edge.  Now, according to the NY Times, women are breaching the ranks of the male participants.  It looks different…

Here’s a video on ordinary parkour (which might be best without the music):

The  NY Times video of women and parkour is here.  And the story is here.

It’s the goals one could worry about, I suppose:

Abortion rights champion, Dr. Henry Morgentaler receives Order of Canada

Last Friday (10th October 2008), Dr. Henry Morgentaler was awarded the Order of Canada for ‘putting himself at risk in his determined drive to increase health care options for Canadian women [and] influencing public policy nationwide’. The Order of Canada is the highest civilian honour awarded by the country. In 1969, Canadian law required any women seeking an abortion to obtain agreement from a committee of doctors that her health or life was in danger. The people on the committee were almost always male, and different committees interpreted the law in different ways so that some women found it relatively easy to obtain an abortion, whilst others were forced to continue with their pregnancy or seek a dangerous ‘backstreet’ abortion. Dr. Morgentaler felt that the law was unfair and opened an illegal abortion clinic in Montreal in 1969. In 1973, he challenged the law by publicly declaring that he had illegally performed thousands of abortions, filming himself performing one and having it shown on television. He was arrested, and jailed. After being acquitted, he challenged laws in other Canadian provinces, which eventually led to the 1988 Supreme Court ruling that effectively made abortion legal. Here’s the Feminist Majority Foundation article. And here’s an article outlining the history of abortion in Canada.

When the Law’s an Ass but the court judges are not…

An eight-year old girl in Yemen, Nojoud Muhammed Nasser, is taking her father to court for forcing her to marry a thirty-year old man. She also wants a divorce from her husband who subjected her to domestic and sexual abuse. The law in Yemen used to prohibit the marriage of people under the age of fifteen, but was amended in 1998 to allow younger people to be married, although it states that a husband should not be ‘intimate’ with his wife until she is mature. Shatha Ali Nasser – a lawyer in the Supreme Court – points out that the amendment is ‘highly dangerous’ as it places young girls in situations where they likely to be raped and abused, which is what happened to Nojoud. The eight-year old arrived in court on her own in April 2008, asking for a judge to handle the case against her father. Yemeni law prevents those underage from prosecuting, but in spite of this, a judge ordered the arrest of her father and husband. Her father was later released when it transpired that he has mental problems, which he developed after losing his job and being forced to survive by begging. But her husband is still in jail. Nojoud will not be returned to her family, but will be placed under the care of an NGO that works with children. The Yemen Times article is here.

When the law’s an ass…

According to the vast fund of knowledge that is the internet, a fifteen-year old teenager in Ohio is being prosecuted under child pornography laws after sending nude photos of herself to other teens. If she is convicted, she will be officially classified as a sex offender, and will have to register as one for the next twenty years. Read more here.