Roundup: Nurse-ins, scrawny models and more

Plus: Female chimps sell sex for fruit.

By Catherine Price
Published September 15, 2007 3:07AM (UTC)
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The Wall Street Journal reports that two Saudi Arabian women have started a group whose name is almost laughable -- till you realize that there's a reason for it: The League of Demanders of Women's Right to Drive Cars in Saudi Arabia. So far they've got 220 signatures on a petition that they plan to deliver to King Abdullah on Sept. 23, the country's national holiday. League co-founder Wajeha al-Huwaider doesn't mince words: "'Cats and dogs in the developed world have more rights than Arab women,'" she's quoted as saying.

Back in the States, the trial for Warren Jeff -- the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (you know, the one who was on the FBI's Most Wanted list till he was arrested at a traffic stop last year) -- has just begun. In this particular case, Jeffs is charged with rape by accomplice for insisting that a 14-year-old girl "surrender her 'mind, body and soul' to an older cousin" whom she'd been forced to marry and have sex with, reports the AP.


Anyone wishing they could spice up their afternoon with a video about breast-feeding set to a reggae beat? Do we have the clip for you. This piece on YouTube titled "It's Super to Be So Normal" is five minutes or so of pictures of families participating in "nurse-ins" at Applebee's restaurants, a chain that has earned praise from the nursing set for its breast-feeding-friendly policies. (Correction: Er, make that protesting against Applebee's breast-feeding unfriendly policies.) You'll get the point after about 15 seconds -- but hey. Maybe you're having a slow afternoon.

Over in England, the British Fashion Council has decided that there shouldn't be an outright ban on overly thin models at London's Fashion Week. Rejecting recommendations from Spain and Italy to ban models with a body mass index of less than 18.5, the British council instead suggested that models under 16 be forbidden, and that each model be required to provide a medical certificate of good health from a doctor specializing in eating disorders, reports Reuters.

Alternet reports that in the United States, there's been a substantial drop in the number of teen pregnancies, but that the number of unwanted and unintended pregnancies among young adults (i.e., people in their 20s) has grown. One possibility? That people in their 20s are more likely to be sexually active than teenagers, but aren't more likely to be using birth control. Regardless, some of the findings reported in the article are a bit disturbing -- like quotes from young people that say things like, "'Having an STD is so much worse than getting pregnant.'" Um, I'm glad people are worried about HPV -- but I doubt this attitude is what sex educators are aiming for.


Lastly, if all this seems too, I don't know, human for you, perhaps you'd enjoy this instead, an article from the Telegraph about a study showing that female chimpanzees "'sell' sex for fruit" -- to quote the headline. Yup. Apparently a group of chimp-observing behavioral psychologists have found that "female chimps mate with the males who give them the most fruit, while male chimps 'steal' desirable fruits ... in a bid to woo potential mates." The next time your boyfriend presents you with a papaya, watch out.

Catherine Price

Catherine Price is an award-winning journalist and author of Vitamania: How Vitamins Revolutionized the Way We Think About Food. Her written and multimedia work has appeared in publications including The Best American Science Writing, The New York Times, Popular Science, O: The Oprah Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post Magazine, Salon, Slate, Men’s Journal, Mother Jones, PARADE, Health Magazine, and Outside. Price lives in Philadelphia.

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