In today’s Women’s Daily Dispatch, we’re highlighting the news that serial sex attacker John Worboys will not be released from prison until a full judicial review is heard in March. Also: women are changing the face of the US Marine Corps, Reese Witherspoon discusses her experience of a psychologically abusive relationship, and we’re not getting Lady Doritos, after all.
John Worboys’ victims will be allowed to challenge his release
Two women assaulted by the serial sex attacker John Worboys have been granted permission to challenge the Parole Board’s decision to release him from prison.
Worboys, a former London cab driver, was jailed in 2009 after being convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting 12 women passengers, including one rape. Police believe that he could have attacked more than 100 women before he was arrested.
He was given an indefinite sentence, and ordered to serve a minimum term of eight years. The Parole Board announced in early January that he was to be released on license, prompting widespread anger.
However, the high court has now ruled that Worboys should remain in prison until 13 March, when a full judicial review into his release will take place. This will allow lawyers representing two of his victims to argue that he should remain in prison.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who also pushed for the Parole Board’s decision to be challenged at a hearing, said that Londoners would be relieved at the news.
“I’m pleased there will now be an opportunity for thorough scrutiny of the Parole Board,” he said.
Read more at The Guardian.
Women are changing the US Marine Corps boot camp
The US Marine Corps have long been synonymous with an intense form of military toughness. Those who enlist must go through exhaustive boot camp training designed to push their physical and psychological strength to its limits, overseen by notoriously fierce commanders.
Historically, the Marines has been the most male-dominated force in the US military. But increasing numbers of women are now joining the Corps, changing the appearance – although not the aggressively demanding tone – of the boot camps. Women now make up around 16% of those active in the force, and the latest group of recruits is almost 11% female: a new record.
Speaking to USA Today for an in-depth report into the rise of women Marines, Lt. Col. Misty Posey explained that there was no difference in how male and female recruits are trained.
“People have to come here and see it for themselves in order to dispel the myths,” she said. “When they’re training side by side they know they are part of the same thing.”
You can read more here.
Reese Witherspoon opens up about abusive relationship
Reese Witherspoon has discussed her experience of an abusive relationship, saying in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that she was “psychologically and verbally” abused by a former partner.
When asked by Winfrey what had been the most difficult task of her life, Witherspoon replied: “For me, probably leaving an abusive relationship. A line got drawn in the sand… and I knew it was going to be very difficult but I just couldn’t go any further. But it was profound and I was young.”
The producer and actress said that while her former partner was not physically abusive, he belittled her and destroyed her self-esteem – two things that can be warning signs of an abusive relationship.
Read more here.
PepsiCo insists it’s not really inventing ‘Lady Doritos’
Earlier this week, the world laughed and laughed when it was reported that PepsiCo was developing “snacks for women” – namely, Doritos. These reports were based on actual observations PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi had made about women on the podcast Freakonomics, including “they don’t like to crunch too loudly in public”, and “women love to carry a snack in their purse”.
When asked if PepsiCo, which owns Doritos, was planning on making “a male and female version of chips”, Nooyi replied: “It’s not a male and female [version] as much as, ‘Are there snacks for women that can be designed and packaged differently?’ And yes, we are looking at it, and we’re getting ready to launch a bunch of them soon.”
Now, however, PepsiCo has released a statement insisting that they were never planning on making snacks for women, and everyone had simply misinterpreted Nooyi’s comments.
“The reporting on a specific Doritos product for female consumers is inaccurate,” the company said. “We already have Doritos for women – they’re called Doritos, and they’re enjoyed by millions of people every day.
“At the same time, we know needs and preferences continue to evolve, and we’re always looking for new ways to engage and delight our consumers.”
Hmm. The New York Times has more on this bizarre story here.
Throughout 2018, Stylist is raising the profiles of brilliant women past and present – and empowering future generations to follow their lead – with our Visible Women campaign. See more from Visible Women here.
Images: Rex Features / iStock