Roundup: Do these punching bags encourage female violence?

Also: US Magazine asks whether Katherine Heigl is ungrateful.

By Tracy Clark-Flory

Published December 8, 2007 12:20AM (EST)

Men's group protests pink boxing set. U.K. retail chain Superdrug removed the Hers Boxing Set from shelves after the ManKind Initiative complained that the product encouraged women to perpetrate violence against men. The pink-packaged set includes a pair of boxing gloves and an inflatable man-shaped punching bag with a pocket for displaying a photo of a man's face. Mark Brooks, the group's chairman, said: "As a charity that receives hundreds of calls a year from distressed men suffering from domestic violence, it is disgraceful that a national retailer like Superdrug should be openly selling products encouraging such acts." One question: What about male-shaped targets at shooting ranges and martial arts training dummies? (Via Jezebel.)

Your newborn, accessorized with Tiffany & Co. The New York Times is a couple of years late in covering the trend of giving "push presents," but, regardless, it's currently their most-read story. In case you missed this news flash: Some people feel that a brand-new baby isn't reward enough and give gifts to new moms (think: diamonds) as compensation for all that laborious pushing.

Is Katherine Heigl ungrateful? That's the question US Magazine is asking its readers in an online poll after the actress spoke out about her summer blockbuster "Knocked Up," suggesting it was "a little sexist." Nerve's Scanner puts it perfectly: "We kind-of feel like if the tables were turned and George Clooney was going around saying that some movie he was in was 'a bit misogynistic' US would be praising him for speaking up for women or some shit. But that's just us..."

Allegation of abuse and forced abortions. Remember Manishkumar M. Patel, the man accused of slipping his pregnant girlfriend the abortion pill RU-486? Turns out he's also accused of physically and emotionally abusing her -- she says the abuse once caused her to leap from a moving car while two months pregnant.

Let's put an end to the miscarriage myth. A new study found that more than a third of women believe a pregnant woman's emotional state could hurt her unborn child or cause a miscarriage. "The survey shows that a sizable proportion of the population believes maternal thoughts and actions contribute to adverse fetal outcomes," says Jonathan Schaffir, the study's author and a clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Ohio State. He adds: "In general, minor day-to-day experiences don't have an effect on whether a pregnancy is successful or not."

Man jailed for "practical joke" involving his pocket and a carrot. Stephen Cooney, a 51-year-old driving instructor in Marske by-the-Sea, England, was sent to jail for a year and a half for groping female students. He also reportedly put a "12-inch carrot down his trousers and told a pupil in her 40s that a perfectly executed manoeuvre was so good that it had given him an erection. He then took her hand and made her touch the vegetable before showing her the carrot," reports the BBC.

On that note: Happy Friday, folks!

Tracy Clark-Flory

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