10 January 2012

Only men may talk about vaginas

You’re probably feeling all happy and encouraged after watching that amazing flash mob dance by the women and girls of Beit Shemeth. So it pains me greatly to throw cold water on your warm, joyful glow with this piece of news. A conference on gynaecology being held in Jerusalem today is allowing only male speakers. From The Globe and Mail:

The conference on “Innovations in Gynecology/Obstetrics and Halacha [Jewish law]” is being held by the Puah Institute this Wednesday in Jerusalem. It will include such topics as “ovary implants,” “how to choose a suitable contraceptive pill” and “intimacy during rocket attacks,” in which there are many qualified female professionals, but none will be permitted to speak, at least not from the podium.

Women are allowed in the audience, in a section separate from men.

The conference is a private event, but the Puah Institute receives funding from the Israeli Health Ministry. The Israeli government is increasingly being strong-armed by religious conservatives into sanctioning sexist, discriminatory policies. Whether it’s Judaism, or Islam, or Christianity, fundamentalists from these patriarchal monotheisms are a scourge of women wherever their vile (and usually male) influence is felt.


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