Burning question of the day: 1950s newspaper clipping shows how far women’s rights have come

By  Jessica Jerreat

PUBLISHED: 16:16 EST, 31  August 2013 |  UPDATED: 16:16 EST, 31 August 2013

Women’s lib has come a long way in a short  time, as this newspaper clipping about whether it is appropriate to discipline  your wife thankfully proves.

Written only six decades ago the article,  believed to be from the New York Daily Mirror, questions four men about the best  way to keep a wife in line.

The 1950s article was posted  on Twitter by History  In Pictures earlier this month. In it, the headline asks: ‘If a woman needs it, should she  be spanked?’

Shocking: A 1950s clipping shows how attitudes to domestic violence have thankfully changed

Shocking: A 1950s clipping shows how attitudes to  domestic violence have thankfully changed

The question, posed by New Yorker Herman  Martin who was paid $10 for asking about it, is answered the same way by four  men, who all agreed that a sound spanking was an appropriate form of  discipline.

Brooklyn barber Frank Desidero goes one step  further, saying he finds a hairbrush is a useful took to use against a wife who  has stepped out of line.

‘I’ve got a lot of faith in the hairbrush,’  he said. ‘In my business a man sets a lot of store by the results he can get by  a hairbrush properly applied.’

Parking lot attendant Teddy Gallei agreed,  saying: ‘It teaches them who’s boss. A lot of women seem to forget this is a  man’s world.’

Most worrying was the response from toy  factory owner William Davis, who said: ‘Most of them have it coming to them  anyway. If they don’t, it will remind them how well off they are.’

Fortunately, attitudes for the most part have  changed and partners who find themselves the victim of domestic violence can now  find help from agencies such as the National Domestic  Violence Hotline.

Stereotypes: The 1950s housewife was expected to serve her husbandStereotypes: The 1950s housewife was expected to serve  her husband

Gender roles: The 1950s was a man's world, according to one of the respondents in the newspaper clipping Gender roles: The 1950s was a man’s world, according to  one of the respondents in the newspaper clipping

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Crisis-Plagued Madrid Sells Out : ” they no longer resist the foolish things their administration does “

By Helene Zuber in Madrid

In the midst of the crisis, Madrid’s regional government and city administration are hawking their treasures and altering ordinances in order to make the Spanish capital more attractive to investors. The Spaniards are even selling the names of subway lines.

Sol, is the Spanish word for sun. Could there be a better name for the most important square in Spain’s capital. The square, where Puerta del Sol, or the sun gate in the old city wall, once stood, marks Spain’s geographic center. From this ground zero, the national roads lead out into the country, and it’s where the kilometer counting begins. Three subway and two commuter train lines also converge under the square.

But so much for Sol. As of early June, the announcements on the subway identify the famous square as “Next station: Vodafone Sol.” Even the time-honored signs at the metro entrances were replaced. Now the red logo and name of the British wireless group are displayed on new enamel signs. Starting in September, line 2 will simply be called “Vodafone.”

The advertising generates €1 million ($1.3 million) a year in revenue for the capital region, which is deeply in the red. Its government headquarters building is located at the front of the square, where Ignacio González, the conservative president of the Madrid region with the Popular Party (PP), has his office. He finds the new revenue model convincing, and he now wants to offer companies other subway lines as PR vehicles. In the last five, crisis-ridden years, the company that operates the Madrid metro has seen its passenger numbers decline by more than 12 percent, and it has accumulated a record €500 million ($655 million) in debt. González wants to generate additional revenues by privatizing the city bus lines.

Foolish Ideas

Although Madrid residents shake their heads over such tonterías, they no longer resist the foolish things their administration does. After five years of growing unemployment and an economic recession, Spaniards are demoralized. With debts of €7.4 billion, the capital is the most highly indebted city in the country.

Mayor Ana Botella — the wife of conservative former Prime Minister José María Aznar, also with the PP — would like to bring the Summer Olympics to Madrid in 2020, following the city’s third attempt to capture the games. Her predecessors have already invested more than €6 billion in the effort, and she needs at least another €2.5 billion. That might explain why, in recent months, Botella has begun to sell off public buildings and properties — even if she hasn’t managed to raise very much money so far. A Chinese bank snatched up a magnificent building near the Prado Museum at a price discount of almost a third.

The fire sale also included 26 works by Spain’s best-known contemporary artists, which were part of the city hall’s inventory. Botella justified the sale, saying the works had “only decorative value.”

Bending Rules for Eurovegas

Madrilenians feel resigned and, if they are scoffing at anything, it is another bizarre idea: Popular Party politicians want to build Eurovegas, a giant entertainment complex, on a 750-hectare (1,850-acre) site in the southwestern part of the city. Under the plan, skyscrapers would shoot up from the wheat fields in the coming years, to house casinos, hotels and convention centers. Backers claim the project, which would become one of the biggest construction sites in Europe, also has the potential to create up to 10,000 jobs, chicken soup for the soul in a country with 27 percent unemployment, and with 682,000 people out of work in the Madrid region alone.

Madrid region President González inherited the project from his predecessor Esperanza Aguirre, a major People’s Party figure. For years, Aguirre wooed Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a staunchly right-wing supporter of the Tea Party and advocate of settlement construction in Israel. The €17-billion deal was sealed over cold gazpacho at Aguirre’s house last August. Now there are only a few legal problems standing in the way.

They could be cleared away quickly, the president of the region promised. He hopes to lay the foundation this year so that the complex can open in 2017. But Adelson, who will celebrate his 80th birthday in early August, hasn’t presented any plans yet. He’s still waiting for some guarantees, including one that smoking will be allowed at the gambling tables — a move that would require the lifting of strict anti-tobacco laws.

To sweeten the deal for Adelson, Madrid has already reduced its gambling tax from 45 to 10 percent. The American investor, one of the 15 richest people in the world, was given permission to build his structures as tall as he wishes. Minors, accompanied by adults, will also be permitted to visit the gambling city. All of this would normally have been impossible.

As another incentive for the American billionaire, in late June the regional president gave the go-ahead for a new airport in the area — even though Terminal 4 at Madrid’s main airport, completed in 2006 at a cost of €6.2 billion, is far from operating at full capacity.

To raise money, the government of the Madrid region also decided, in early July, to sell six more public hospitals, equipment included.

But last Wednesday the country’s highest court put a temporary end to the privatization of healthcare. On the past few Sundays, thousands of doctors and nurses in white robes demonstrated against the plan on Madrid’s central square, of course — at Vodafone Station.

Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

 

© SPIEGEL ONLINE 2013 All Rights Reserved Reproduction only allowed with the permission of SPIEGELnet GmbH

The ‘leftover’ women: China defines official age for females being left on the shelf as 27

  • Millions of women say they have been thrown  on the scrap heap
  • Chinese government worries that unmarried  men could cause social havoc

By  Peter Simpson

PUBLISHED: 09:04 EST, 21  February 2013 |  UPDATED: 09:13 EST, 21 February 2013

The derogatory name has caused an outcry among millions of ambitious young and educated females who claim they have been thrown on the scrap heap
The derogatory name has caused an outcry among millions  of ambitious young and educated females who claim they have been thrown on the  scrap heap (file photo)

China has upset its young female population  by labelling those who fail to marry by the time they are 30 as ‘left over  woman’.

The Communist government ordered its feminist  All-China Women’s Federation to use the derogatory term in several stinging  articles about the growing number of educated, professional, urban and single  females aged 27-30 who have ‘failed’ to find a husband and are now  deemed  ‘undesirable’.

‘Pretty girls do not need a lot of education  to marry into a rich and powerful family. But girls with an average or ugly  appearance will find it difficult,’ reads one article titled ‘Leftover Women Do  Not Deserve Our Sympathy’.

The derogatory name has been picked up by the  state media and stuck, causing an outcry among millions of ambitious young and  educated females who claim they have been thrown on the scrap heap – and who  bemoan the low quality of suitors.

The conservative country is going under rapid  changes with more women shunning tradition to wed and raise a family  early.

But the government wants to shame them into  marrying young to counter the growing and serious gender imbalance among the of  1.3 billion population.

Selective abortions because of the one-child  policy means far more males are born then females – 118 boys to 100 girls.

The government is also worried hordes of  unmarried men roaming the country could spark social havoc.

Leta Hong-Fincher, an American academic  studying at Tsinghua University in Beijing, said: ‘Since  2007, the state media has aggressively disseminated the left over term in  surveys, and news reports, and columns, and cartoons and pictures, basically  stigmatising educated women over the age of 27 or 30 who are still  single.’

Since the one child policy was introduced in  1979, there are now about 20 million more men under 30 than women under  30.

And census figures show that around one in  five women aged 25-29 is unmarried.

The proportion of unmarried males that age is  over a third higher – but  Chinese men tend to ‘marry down’ both in terms of age  and educational  attainment.

More Chinese women are shunning the tradition of marrying young and having children. But the government wants to shame them into marrying young to counter the population's growing gender imbalance (file photo)More Chinese women are shunning the tradition of  marrying young and having children. But the government wants to shame them into  marrying young to counter the population’s growing gender imbalance (file  photo)

‘LEFT OVERS’: THE MALE  VIEW

Nine out of 10 men in China think women  should get married before 27

Sixty per cent say the ideal time is  25-27

One per cent believe the best age for a woman  to get married is 31-35

‘There is an opinion that A-quality guys will  find B-quality women, B-quality guys will find C-quality women, and C-quality  men will find D-quality women,’ Huang Yuanyuan, a confident and single  29-year-old who works in a Beijing radio station, told the BBC.

‘The people left are A-quality women and  D-quality men,’ she said.

But the Chinese Bridget Joneses are fighting  back, demanding the government ban the ‘left over women term.

The All-China Federation of Women has  recently dropped the label and now refers to ‘old’ unmarried women – but the  left over expression remains widely used elsewhere.

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American birth rate drops to lowest point ever… and 40 per cent of newborns are to unwed mothers

  • Per cent of  babies born to unmarried women was highest among teens
  • There were  3,953,593 births in the U.S. in 2011, one per cent less than 2010
  • More older  women having newborns as women delay families

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED:15:03 EST, 2  November 2012| UPDATED:15:03 EST, 2 November 2012

 

The birth rate in the United States dropped  to an all-time low in 2011 with one percent fewer births than in the year  before, according to a report released this month by the Centers for Disease  Control and Prevention.

And of all the babies born last year, more  than 40 per cent were born to unmarried women.

The per cent of babies born to unmarried  women was highest among teens but the per cent delivered by unmarried women of  older ages increased from 2010 to 2011.

Dropped: The U.S. birth rate dropped one per cent from 2010 to 2011, the lowest ever recorded 

Dropped: The U.S. birth rate dropped one per cent from  2010 to 2011, the lowest ever recorded

Findings are based on approximately 100 per  cent of registered vital records occurring in calendar year 2011, which were  received and processed by the National Center for Health Statistics, the report  said.

The 2011 preliminary number of U.S. births  was 3,953,593 – one per cent less than 2010.

Rates varied depending on the woman’s  background.

There was a steep drop in births for women  15-19 years old where the rate declined from 34. 2 per cent to 31.3 per cent,  while in 20 to 24 year  old the decline was from 90.0 to 85.3 per  cent.

Where's daddy: Single mothers gave birth to more than 40 per cent of newborns last year 

Where’s daddy: Single mothers gave birth to more than 40  per cent of newborns last year

Older groups held steady with only a small  decline from 108.3 to 107.2 per cent for ages 25 to 29 and a steady 96.5 per  cent from year to year for those age 30-34.

Researcher said the data shows women are  choosing to have family later in life, and rates among older women actually  increased.

Births declined fro most race and Hispanic  origin groups and the birth rate declined for Hispanic, non-Hispanic, black and  American Indian and Alaskan native women.

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The beautiful ARE the damned: Attractive women more likely to be seen as guilty of murdering their husbands, study shows

  • Findings  contradict generally held opinion that attractive people are treated more  leniently by the legal system
  • Spanish  researchers also find that women who fit ‘prototype of a battered woman’ more  likely to have self defence story accepted

By Damien Gayle

PUBLISHED:03:32 EST, 12  October 2012| UPDATED:03:32 EST, 12 October 2012

Femme fatale: Kim Basinger as Lynn Bracken in LA Confidential. A study has shown attractive women are more likely to be seen as guilty of murder
Femme fatale: Kim Basinger as Lynn Bracken in LA  Confidential. A study has shown attractive women are more likely to be seen as  guilty of murder

Women charged with murder who plead self  defence are more likely to be perceived as guilty if have ‘thick lips’ and  ‘smooth and harmonious facial features’, says a study.

The findings made by a team from the  University of Grenada, Spain, contradict the generally held stereotype that  beauty deflects criminal responsibility.

They found that in the case of a woman  claiming self defence in the killing of an abusive husband, police officers were  more likely to regard as innocent defendants who were described as  unattractive.

The findings also showed that women perceived  as more independent and in charge of their lives were also more likely to be  seen as guilty of murder.

Legal processes are ideally conducted without  bias, but in reality biases influence all human judgements and looking at how  these prejudices shape behaviour should help to minimise their  effect.

In the past, social psychology has widely  accepted the contention that beautiful people are less likely to be regarded as  criminally responsible.

As the study’s authors put it: ‘Attractive  people are often perceived as having positive personality features and  attributes in consonance with the implicit theory that “beauty is  goodness”.’

This ‘halo effect’ has also been previously  shown to influence perception of other traits, with attractive people seen as  ‘more sociable, friendly, warm, competent and intelligent than unattractive  individuals.’

To test this effect in the scenario of  domestic violence, the Grenada team created fictitious scenarios in which a  woman was accused of stabbing her husband to death as he lay in bed.

In each case, the woman’s story was that she  had been the victim of years of domestic violence and had finally killed her  husband out of self defence. The only difference between narratives was the  defendant’s description.

In one story she was described with features  typically regarded as beautiful: ‘María is an attractive woman with thick lips;  smooth, harmonious facial features; straight blonde hair; and a slender and  elegant appearance.’

In the other story she was described as  ‘unattractive’: ‘María is an unattractive woman with thin lips, stern and  jarring facial features, dark bundled hair, and is neither slender nor elegant  in appearance.’

The other variable, which the researchers  evaluated separately from the defendant’s physical attractiveness, was her  likeness to the ‘prototype of a battered woman’.

In some of the stories: ‘María is a 36-year  old housewife with two children (six and three years old) who has been married  for 10 years. María wears sunglasses that hide her face, has poor personal  appearance and dress, and is timid in answering the judge or lawyers’  questions.’

While in the others: ‘María is a financial  consultant of a leading company; she has no children, and has been married for  ten years. María is a well-dressed fashion-conscious woman, calm and resolute in  her interactions with the judge and lawyers.’

The researchers then showed 169 police  officers from the Spanish national and local police forces one of the stories  each and had them give their personal judgement on the defendant’s  guilt.

The original femme fatale: Barbara Stanwyck with Fred MacMurray in the 1944 noir classic Double Indemnity, in which she plays a woman who convinces an insurance investigator to help her murder her husbandThe original femme fatale: Barbara Stanwyck with Fred  MacMurray in the 1944 noir classic Double Indemnity, in which she plays a woman  who convinces an insurance investigator to help her murder her husband

The results were surprising. Contrary to the  hypothesis that the attractive defendant would ‘receive a more  benevolent  appraisal of criminality’ it was found that the ‘unattractive women defendants  were attributed less criminal responsibility.’

‘We believe  that our study represents the first naturalistic and longitudinal study that  collects real emoticon use from text messages “in the wild”,’ said Philip  Kortum, assistant professor of psychology at Rice and one of the study’s  authors.

The researchers were less surprised to find,  however, that the defendant who did not fit the stereotype of a battered woman  was more likely to be regarded as guilty. She was perceived as having ‘more  control over the situation, which in legal terms can translate as a higher  degree of guilt’, the researchers said.

The study’s authors say their research has  important implications for the way police officers are trained to deal with  domestic violence.

‘These findings and interpretation have been  systematically reported in the literature i.e., people who behave atypically and  violate the expectations of others are perceived as having greater  intentionality as their behaviour is judged be the result of their own free  will,’

‘These findings and interpretation have been  systematically reported in the literature i.e., people who behave atypically and  violate the expectations of others are perceived as having greater  intentionality as their

behaviour is judged be the result of their  own free will.’

The findings were published in the European  Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context

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Only one in six ‘baby boomers’ in good health

Only one in six ‘baby boomers’ is retiring in good health, with most succombing to a range of conditions and diseases including high cholesterol, osteoporosis or cancer, a study has found.

The 'baby boomer' generation is likely to dictate the agenda for the NHS for the next 30 years, argue the report's authors.

The ‘baby boomer’ generation is likely to dictate the agenda for the NHS for the next 30 years, argue the report’s authors. Photo: GETTY

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Stephen Adams

By , Medical Correspondent

10:00PM BST 19 Sep 2012

Even though today’s 60-somethings have benefited from the NHS and welfare state pretty much from birth, most still have at least one health problem, say Government scientists.

They found the average baby boomer – referring to those born in the years just after the Second World War – has two medical conditions.

Just over half have high blood pressure, a third are obese, and a quarter have high cholesterol.

A quarter have Type 2 diabetes or ‘pre-diabetes’, meaning they are on the cusp of fully developing the condition.

Almost one in five suffer from a mental health problem, while 12 per cent have chronic lung or throat disease.

Eleven per cent have cancer, the same proportion that has osteoporosis. In addition, 11 per cent have suffered from cardiovascular disease such as a heart attack, stroke or heart failure.

One in six have three or more health problems.

The results are from a study of 2,661 people born in 1946, from every walk of life, whose health has been followed from birth. For this, the latest study, they were assessed between 60 and 64 years of age for 15 conditions.

The study found the origins of poor health in one’s 60s could usually be traced back to early middle age.

Dr Mary Pierce, of the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing, the GP who led the report, said: “The babies born in the post-war period were the first generation to enjoy the lifelong benefits of the NHS and the welfare state, and have an extended life expectancy.

“We might, therefore, expect this generation to be in pretty good health at retirement age.

“But our research shows that medical conditions – some of which could lead to serious disability or even death ­– are common among baby boomers.”

Professor Diana Kuh, director of the unit, said some of the conditions shared “common root causes related to poor diet and inactive lifestyles”.

They argued GPs would become more and more stretched as the baby boomer generation aged, with Dr Pierce saying it made “a compelling case to invest in primary care to ease the burden on an already stretched service”.

Writing in the report, published in the journal PLoS One, she warned: “The health of the baby boomers as they age will dominate the work of the health and social care systems for the next three decade.”

Turkish health workers condone wife beating

Domestic violence is an inherent problem in Turkey, and healthcare workers are doing little to combat the prevalence of wife beating, according to research published in the online open access journal, BMC Public Health. A survey of medical personnel reveals that a lack of training and a cultural acceptance of domestic violence may prevent victims from obtaining the support they desperately require.

173 medical staff from the emergency department of a Turkish university hospital responded to a questionnaire about domestic violence. 69.0% of the female and 84.7% of the male respondents declared that they agreed or partially agreed to at least one reason to justify physical violence.

Accepted grounds for intimate domestic violence included lying to or criticising the male and failure to care for children. Moreover, about three-quarters of the nurses and male physicians and over half of female physicians agreed that deceiving the husband justified physical punishment Deceiving the husband is a taboo in Turkey and it is among the most important reasons for honour murders