Posts Tagged ‘sexuality’

IB imageSnapshots of law, gender and sexuality news from the past couple of weeks.

World’s first male rape centre

Aidan Bull, Durham University

A hospital in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, is believed to be the first rape centre for male sexual violence victims.

Sweden has the highest rate of rape in Europe, but this is partly because the country records allegations in a different way to most countries, tracking each case of sexual violence separately. For example, if someone says they were raped every day by their partner for a week, officers will record seven potential crimes. In contrast, many other countries would simply label it as a single incident. This wide reaching tracking system has helped to uncover the hidden statistics of male rape.  In 2014, some 370 cases of sexual assault on men or boys were reported across Sweden, according to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention, although experts believe that the actual figure is much higher.


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mephotoVikki Lang is an MJur student at Durham Law School.

They call themselves the ‘naked soldiers of feminism.’ They are the women that ran down the runway in Paris fashion week, shouted ‘Fuck Democracy’ to Putin, interrupted Pope Benedict’s Sunday mass with ‘homophobe Shut up’, and organised world-wide ‘topless hijab protests.’ They are Femen; the bare-breasted self-dubbed ‘sextremists’, and they are coming to the UK.

In a recent interview with the Huffington post, lead campaigner Inna Shevchenko summarises the cause of Femen; ‘our main enemy is patriarchy and its three manifestations – dictatorship, religion and the sex industry.’ Their main methods in fighting patriarchy? Their breasts. Their protests are often dangerous and can be violent, their tactics are extreme and shocking, often resulting in the women being forcibly removed, arrested, and even allegedly kidnapped. It is not surprising that debate surrounding this Ukrainian-born group is high. It has once again ignited after their announcement to set up a Femen branch in the UK, with the leader Inna Shevchenko vowing that ‘the streets of London will be occupied by our naked bodies painted with our political demands.’

They certainly get people talking. As a group of topless beautiful women, they are frequently on front covers of newspapers, tabloids, online blogs and social media sites; their radical protests are difficult to avoid. But is this the sort of publicity feminism in the UK needs? Is there a place for radical feminist protest in the UK or, more specifically, is there a place for protest using the female body? (more…)

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The following blog post by Anna Llewellyn was originally posted on Lesbilicious. Anna works at the School of Education, Durham University. She is responsible for equality and diversity on Initial Teacher Training courses and as such runs workshops on ‘tackling and preventing homophobic bullying’ in schools.

Stonewall’s annual awards celebrate the LGBT community’s heroes and villains. But is the category ‘Bigot of the Year’ just unhelpful name-calling?

In early November, Stonewall announced that Scotland’s Roman Catholic leader, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, had been awarded the “Bigot of the Year” award thanks to his persistent and vicious homophobia.

Lesbilicious writer Carrie Lyell applauded the decision, saying “Sometimes, you have to call a spade a spade, and other times you have to call a Cardinal a bigot”, and tweeted “Bigotgate. @StonewallUK vs the Catholic Church. Which side are you on?” It is difficult to be nuanced in 140 characters, but ‘which side are you on’ immediately sets up an opposition between the church and a leading LGBT action group. Of course, Cardinal Keith O’Brien does not speak for all Catholics, which was rightly pointed out in the comments from readers.

However, for some people, it can be difficult to identify as both LGBTQ and religious, given that they are often positioned as mutually exclusive and in conflict. This applies to established gay folk finding their religious identity as well as lifelong religious people finding their sexual identity. This positioning is discriminatory and it is also unhelpful, as it stops us moving forward and maintains a division.


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PECANS Workshop 2011

Postgraduate and Early Career Academics Network of Scholars

(Supported by the Economic & Social Research Coucil (ESRC), Keele University, University of Kent and University of Westminster)


An interdisciplinary postgraduate & early career scholars conference in the broad area of law, gender and sexuality

April 8th, 2011, Westminster University, London, UK


Legal and legislative change does not occur in a vacuum. This one‐day postgraduate and early careers scholars’ conference seeks to explore contexts under which legal change relating to sexuality and gender occurs. It also seeks to address means by which issues of sexuality, law, bodies, and power interact, react against or mutually reinforce each other in the context of legal and activist discourse and how this process can impact upon wider social structures. (more…)

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Welcome to Inherently Human – an online forum dedicated to critical engagements with the politics of gender, sexuality and legal studies.

Another blog on law, women, lesbians, gay men, bisexual and trans people? Is it really needed? We think it is. Feminist and LGBT legal theorising and activism remains a minority concern within the academy and beyond. While other blogs related to this field of inquiry exist, we believe there is still far too little dialogue and debate in this area which has animated, frustrated and empowered those who recognise that power lies in gender and sexual identities. (more…)

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