Listen to Japans women: high heels need kicking out of the workplace | Summer Brennan

The #KuToo campaign reflects a long history of female repression and suffering, says author Summer Brennan Were used to talking about high heels in terms of fashion, fantasy and even feminism. But were somewhat less accustomed to speaking about them as business etiquette and workplace obligation even though, to many women, thats exactly what they represent. While many wear high heels for fun and self expression, countless others wear them because of industry standards, or even because their boss says they have to. But why? The long-running to-wear-or-not-to-wear debate was resurrected this week when petition to her countrys labour ministry asking for a ban on employer-mandated high heels. Her efforts have been bolstered by a clever hashtag: #KuToo is a …

Caster Semenya and the Twisted Politics of Testosterone

Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya received bad news about her racing career last week, news that centered on the particulars of her body. Those probing, intimate details shaped a controversial rule of the International Association of Athletics Federations, the governing body of the running world. And they are now determining the fate of other athletes. The Court of Arbitration for Sport decided last week to uphold an IAAF rule that would require Semenya to take testosterone suppressants to compete in the women’s division in her best events, the 800-meter and 1,500-meter races. Almost immediately the decision rippled out to other runners. Athletics Kenya announced on Friday that it had dropped two female sprinters from its team for the IAAF World …

The Failure of NASA’s Spacewalk Snafu? How Predictable It Was

When Saralyn Mark heard the news earlier this month that NASA was planning the first all-women spacewalk at the International Space Station on March 29, she started to worry. Mark, an endocrinologist by training, was a senior medical advisor to NASA for 18 years. In that role, she studied the way men and women’s bodies differ, on space and on earth. Within the agency, she advocated for spacesuit and technological design that took these differences to account. She led two separate decadal reviews into how NASA handled sex and gender difference, the last of which published in 2014. Those audits taught her that women astronauts often struggled to get spacesuits to fit right. “I was very concerned,” says Mark, of …

Women’s Pain Is Different From Men’sthe Drugs Could Be Too

Men and women can’t feel each other’s pain. Literally. We have different biological pathways for chronic pain, which means pain-relieving drugs that work for one sex might fail in the other half of the population. So why don’t we have pain medicines designed just for men or women? The reason is simple: Because no one has looked for them. Drug development begins with studies on rats and mice, and until three years ago, almost all that research used only male animals. As a result, women in particular may be left with unnecessary pain—but men might be too. Now a study in the journal Brain reveals differences in the sensory nerves that enter the spinal cords of men and women with …