Content Note: This book’s subtitle is literally “Dispatches from Rape Culture.”
Best for: Those looking for some reassurance and reminders that yes, it really is that bad.
In a nutshell: Editor Roxane Gay brings together essays from 30 people (mostly women), all of which address some part of rape culture.
“The part I wanted them to understand is that these equations can implode, constricting your whole life, until one day you’re sitting in a locked steel box breathing through an airhole with a straw and wondering, Now? Now am I safe?”
“I wonder if, when it finally stops for good, if it will be too late to relax, if the muscle memory of the harassment will keep me tense on the sidewalk forever.”
“Then they will revise backward. They will take every opinion they’ve ever heard from you, every personality train, every action, and recast them in light of what you told them. This will be particularly true of your sexual behavior and your appearance.”
Why I chose it:
I am a writer. I mean, I don’t get paid to write, but I do write. A lot. And I have this essay, still sitting in the ‘ready to pitch’ folder in Scrivener, simply called “Arm Grab,” about the time a random dude grabbed and squeezed my arm and then ran off, and what multiple encounters like that do a person over time. And before reading this book, I probably would have left it in the folder forever because it is just one in a long line of small incidents that I would have described as “not that bad.”
This is a book that can be hard to read. It isn’t 30 essays about rape, though — it’s 30 essays about the various ways that rape culture affects women and men. About street harassment, and child abuse, and date rape. Individual stories that are connected by the ways we don’t believe women, or treat them as broken, or at fault, or as liars. The ways we’re taught to be grateful that our experiences don’t matter, don’t affect the ways we navigate this world.
The essay that resonated the most with me was “Getting Home,” where author Nicole Boyce talks about how an experience led to her not feeling comfortable walking alone after dark. Like ever. And so much of what she wrote lives in my head. The fear of the sound behind me when I leave the tube station. The keys sticking out through our fingers. My confusion and then sadness when my husband and I go for a walk late in the evening and I don’t want to walk through the park because I wouldn’t do it alone, and I remember that he navigates the world without really having to make those calculations.
I’d recommend this to everyone who feels that they’re in a place where they could read it. It’s not light reading, but it wasn’t nearly as challenging a read as I thought it would be.
“The all-girl team representing Afghanistan hails from Herat, a city of half a million people in the western part of the country. To interview for their visas, the girls risked a 500 mile trek cross-country to the American embassy in Kabul – the site of several recent suicide attacks and one deadly truck bomb in early June that killed at least 90 people. Despite the recent violence, the teenagers braved the trip to the country’s capital not once, but twice, hoping a second round of interviews might help secure their 7-day visas after the team was rejected on its first try. But no luck.” Denied: Afghanistan’s All-Girl Robotics Team Can’t Get Visas To The US (by Hilary Brueck for Forbes)
“The law does not share that interpretation. “The First Amendment only regulates the government,” explained Rebecca Tushnet, a professor of First Amendment law at Harvard. Does she think there is any merit in telling a person that her critique of your art is infringing on your free speech? “No.” It’s been a surprisingly effective rhetorical strategy nonetheless. Americans are fiercely proud of our culture of (nearly) unfettered expression, though often not so clear on the actual parameters of the First Amendment. To defend speech is to plant a flag on the right side of history; to defend unpopular speech is to be a real rogue, a sophisticate, the kind of guy who gets it. “Freedom of speech is such a buzzword that people can rally around,” Ms. Sarkeesian said, “and that works really well in their favor. They’re weaponizing free speech to maintain their cultural dominance.”” Save Free Speech From Trolls (by Lindy West for The New York Times)
“The event, called Gaming Ladies, was intended to create a safe space for female game developers, a demographic that’s woefully underrepresented in the gaming world. In response, a small, vitriolic group plotted on the forum ForoCoches (an invite-only car forum that’s basically a Spanish-language 4chan) to pretend to be transgender women in order to gain access to the conference and disrupt it.” King’s Gaming Ladies event canceled following targeted online harassment campaign (by Tim Mulkerin for Mic)
“Their presence was plainly not, as one of them later said in an “apology” video he posted to Twitter, to “give us the chance we never gave them” and to “hear us out,” but was instead to intimidate me and put me on edge. They will no doubt plead innocent and act shocked at what they characterize as the outrageousness of such allegations. This, too, is part of their strategy: gaslighting, acting in a way intended to encourage me and their other targets to doubt ourselves and to wonder if all of this isn’t just in our heads. But to anyone who examines their patterns of behavior with clear eyes, the intentions of their actions are undeniably apparent.” On VidCon, Harassment & Garbage Humans (by Anita Sarkeesian for Feminist Frequency)
“A longtime symphony fan, Ahmad knows the orchestra doesn’t permit flash photography during its performances, so she turned her flash off to snap a shot before the show started. “I was shocked,” she said. “I just very calmly said to him, ‘You cannot hit me. That’s assault. If you hit me again, I will charge you.’ At that point he called me a child and an expletive, and it was just very stunning. I won’t repeat the word.”” Professor says she was assaulted twice at the Toronto symphony and nobody stood up for her (by the CBC)
Criminal Punishment System
“Violence against People of Color (POC), gender and sexual violence against Womxn of Color (WOC) and Queer Trans People of Color (QTPOC), is endemic and systemic. It is colonial, centuries-old, poured into the very foundation of this nation. It keeps the status quo intact; upholding cis male patriarchy and white supremacy by brutalizing the marginalized into submission. Violence is the norm and it has been happening for a long time. If you’re surprised by recent tragic events–then you’re not paying attention but, more importantly, you have the privilege to not pay attention. Ask yourself, why did I not see? What in the world around allows me to not see? What in myself allows me to not see?” 9 Ways Non-Black Folks Can Show Up For Charleena Lyles (by Sharon H. Change for South Sound Emerald)
“When we returned for our sophomore year, she told me the pressure had become too much. She feared for her partners’ shame, feared for more bullying from her tough love parents, feared for the jeering her thinner friends had to endure when they spent time with her. So she got weight loss surgery. I told her I was happy for her, and I was. She’d made a decision about how to engage with her own body. We’d often talked about how often our bodies were taken from us — from unsolicited diet advice to fatcalling, unwelcome comments about our orders at restaurants to bullying in the name of “concern.” Thinness was the only way she could truly end all of that.” On Weight Loss Surgery And The Unbearable Thinness Of Being (by Your Fat Friend for The Establishment)
“However, Gail Simone, whose Wonder Woman comics from 2008 to 2010 inspired several facets of the film, noted on Twitter that her name did not appear among other thanked creators in the credits. That list was, in fact, entirely male, leaving out other influential creators, such as series editor Karen Berger. And while “The Marston Family” is listed, William Moulton Marston’s partners Elizabeth Marston and Olive Byrne—two women who played integral roles in the character’s inception—are not named, nor is Marston’s assistant and longtime Wonder Woman ghostwriter Joye Hummel Murchison. This isn’t to say men weren’t snubbed too (H.G. Peter, another of Marston’s co-creators, remains uncredited), but it’s hard not raise an eyebrow when two men who created a sword are given credit instead of any woman who worked on the world’s most famous female superhero.” ‘Wonder Woman’s’ Credits Reveal the Sexist Mistreatment of Women in Comics (by Sam Riedel for Bitch)
“An honest examination of your beliefs is a lot like cleaning house (I’m using creative imagination here because I never clean my house). You have a lot of stuff in your house and it can all seem like very necessary stuff. But if you buy every item that catches your eye and take it home with you, it will pile up, block your doorway, and cut you off from the rest of the world. But if you regularly hold each item up to the light and ask, “why do I really have this? Is it helping me? Is this meeting my needs? Did this ever meet my needs?” You Must Understand Why You Believe What You Believe — And How You Got There (by Ijeoma Oluo for The Establishment)
Horrific Executive Action and Legislation
“DeVos’ selection of these individuals, along with existing staff at the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), confirms what many suspected: that DeVos will push hard for school privatization from the beginning of her term as education secretary. This, in turn, could endanger the general success of the country’s K-12 education while creating even larger barriers to fair treatment in school for already marginalized populations.” Betsy DeVos’ Choice of New Hires Suggests She’ll Keep Her School Privatization Promises (by Alex Kotch for Rewire)
“Many of Fallon’s famous friends show up to explain that Fallon just isn’t an edgy, political guy. He wants to provide silly humor for as wide an audience as possible. What we are meant to understand is that Jimmy Fallon just doesn’t pick sides, okay? No. That’s not okay. It wasn’t okay when Fallon ruffled Trump’s hair before the election, and it sure as shit isn’t okay now that Trump is president.” Sorry, Jimmy Fallon. We All Have to Pick Sides Now. (by Melissa McEwan for Shakesville)
““I used to say that I kicked down the door, but no one else came in,” Gayle Sierens told Richard Sandomir of the New York Times in 2009. “But I think that day is nearing. I really do.”
Mowins joined ESPN in 1994, and has since worked as a play-by-play announcer for NCAA Championships in basketball, softball, soccer, and volleyball, and according to ESPN Media Zone, has been the voice of the Women’s College World Series for over 20 years.” For the first time in NFL history, a woman will call play-by-play on national television (by Lindsay Gibbs for Think Progress)
“Across the South, communities began taking a critical look at many other symbols honoring the Confederacy and its icons — statues and monuments; city seals; the names of streets, parks and schools; and even official state holidays. There have been more than 100 attempts at the state and local levels to remove the symbols or add features to provide more historical context.” Whose Heritage? Public Symbols of the Confederacy (Southern Poverty Law Center)
“The possibilities, should I fly round trip from the United States to the Philippines and back again, are these: everything goes fine, but I am justifiably terrified of being publicly assaulted and degraded; I am, in fact, publicly assaulted and degraded; either of the above, plus I’m racially profiled. Traveling through a post-9/11 world while ambiguously brown has always meant a curious sort of luck when it comes to winning the random selection-and-arbitrary-detention lottery.” The ‘Trans Tax’: A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Leaving My House (by Nacasio Andres Reed for Rewire)
“Ironically, the Global Gag Rule isn’t associated with lower abortion rates. In some areas, it has been shown to actually increase the number of abortions, especially the number of unsafe abortions. After President George W. Bush reinstated the Gag, the U.S. cut off aid to organizations it said violated the policy in 20 developing countries, limiting women’s access not only to family planning but also to HIV prevention and treatment, maternal and child health services, and even malaria prevention and treatment.” Let’s Not Forget This Trump Policy Will Kill Women Around the World (by Lauren Rankin for Allure)
In a nutshell: Essays on the experiences of women.
Line that sticks with me: “The entitlement to be the one who is heard, believed, and respected has silenced so many women who may never be heard, in so many cases.”
Why I chose it: I’ve enjoyed Ms. Solnit’s writing in the past.
Review: I wish I had more energy to do this review justice. I definitely enjoyed many of the essays in this book, and as always Ms. Solnit has a way with words that any writer would envy. That said – I don’t know. This one didn’t do as much for me as her last book.
I found the second half of the book to be more engaging and interesting to read than the first half, although I did underline and make notes on quite a few passages throughout. Her words on the Isla Vista murders and on rape jokes are especially good, but I can’t really imagine that I’ll be buying this for friends or returning to it often over the years to come.
Best for: People interested in feminist critique who have a lot of patience.
In a nutshell: There is something called universal feminism, which is what feminism is now. And it is bad, because it is not doing nearly enough. Also, if you don’t worship Andrea Dworkin, you are the worst.
Line that sticks with me: “It’s easier to complain about the power you don’t have than to think about how you are wielding the power you do have.” (p 83)
Why I chose it: Someone in a Pajiba-adjacent Facebook group posted an interview with the author. It seemed like it might be challenging enough to be enjoyable.
Review: I wrote in the margins of this book more than I have in a while, and nearly every comment was negative. Right up front she makes the claim that today’s feminism is trying to be ‘universal’ but doesn’t provide strong evidence to that claim (at least, I didn’t see it). And I get what she’s going for here, but it really doesn’t work. It feels more like she came up with this idea and decided it would be the focus of the book, and then refused to ‘kill her darlings,’ as it were, when it didn’t end up working out that well.
But let’s say she’s right, and that the problem with feminism today is that it tries to be universal. This does not save her from spending a large portion of this book both railing against women who tell other women how to be feminists, while then telling us how we are doing feminism wrong. It’s like she’s decided that the Alanis Morissette definition of irony is correct, and thus chooses to ignore how so many of the complaints she has about ‘universal feminism’ can also be found in the pages of her own book.
She also really has a problem with ‘identity politics,’ which maybe she doesn’t fully understand? Because later in the book she seems to support the concepts behind recognizing that people have different intersections of marginalization. The writing makes me think that this is what might happen if Bernie Sanders and Susan Sarandon had a child, and that child grew up to write a lot of strong words with not a lot of support.
And the thing is, she does have *some* good things to say. And some interesting things to say. For sure. I didn’t always agree with her, but some of her more challenging ideas were certainly interesting. One section, albeit brief, talks about marriage as problematic. In later interviews I think she said something about how feminists don’t get married, but in the book at least, her point wasn’t entirely ignorant about the current state of marriage; she instead seemed worried about what it means to younger women when marriage is the goal. So not so much that marriage itself is the problem, but what choices we make to guarantee we will get to marriage. Not totally ground-breaking, but definitely interesting.
But she absolutely, unreservedly refuses to show her work. If I were grading any of these chapters for a college course, she’d get maybe a C at best in most of them, because she makes wide sweeping generalizations without supporting evidence. In other interviews she has said this is because she didn’t want her message to get lost in the inevitable claims of cat-fighting that would follow. And I am sympathetic to that … but she still has to support her claims. This isn’t a personal blog or a letter to friends. She’s making very strong claims about an entire political and social movement; I shouldn’t have to write “citation needed” in every margin.
The author clearly has a lot of problems with our current society. And so many of the concerns she raises are, I think, valid. She just, in my reading, does a very poor job of creating any sort of cohesive narrative around how these problems and feminism – the current reality of it, not the straw man she’s invoking – are currently at odds. But I’d love to discuss it with others who have read this.
Last thought – she repeatedly expresses her frustration that feminists aren’t fans of Andrea Dworkin. But, as I understand it, Ms. Dworkin was very supportive of anti-trans author Janice Raymond. I admittedly am not that familiar with either of their works, but considering Ms. Crispin only name-checks maybe three feminist authors in the entire book, this seems an odd choice for sure.
I wavered between giving this book two and three stars. If we had half stars, this would be a solidly 2.5 stars book. I did, however, choose the higher option because there are very interesting ideas in here – I just don’t think she does a good job of communicating them.
“Hi! I see you there! Welcome to the anti-racism movement. I know you were kind of hoping to sneak in the back of class in the middle of this semester and then raise your hand in a few days to offer up expert opinion like you’ve always been here — but you’ve been spotted, and I have some homework for you, because you’ve missed A LOT and we don’t have the time to go over it all together. I’m glad you are here (I mean, I’d really rather you arrived sooner and I’m a little/lot resentful at how often we have to stop this class to cover all the material for people who are just now realizing that this is a class they should be taking, but better late than never I guess) and I know that once you catch up, you can contribute a lot to the work being done here.” Welcome To The Anti-Racism Movement — Here’s What You’ve Missed (by Ijeoma Oluo for The Establishment)
“There was a time when I assumed that your anti-Black responses to my posts were an indication that you simply didn’t understand what you were saying. There was a time when I’d spend days figuring out how to explain why your comments were so fucked up, all the while making sure I didn’t say anything too confrontational. Because you’d accuse me of pulling the “race card” (no such thing) and of getting too emotional, and then refuse to listen until I “calmed down,” I’d put extra effort into projecting civility and calm, hoping you’d understand the rationality and legitimacy of what I had to say. I’d call your words “insensitive” instead of racist, because using the r-word is an automatic eject from a conversation.” Dear People Who Comment On My Facebook Posts To Silence Me (by Talynn Kel for The Establishment)
“The NAACP proposal does not strictly define ethnic studies, but the subject is often described as an interdisciplinary study of power, race, ethnicity and national origin, often including gender and sexual orientation, from the perspectives of marginalized groups. It’s meant to fill in the wide gaps left by traditional textbooks, literature and curricula that predominately focus on the contributions and world views of white men.” Seattle Schools may make ethnic studies mandatory (by Ann Dornfeld for KUOW)
Horrendous Executive Orders and Legislation
“Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened to me when immigration agents came into my apartment after they arrested my father outside. I was arrested, too, detained and brought to this center. Agents said that a tattoo on my arm means I’m in a gang. I got that tattoo when I was 18 to honor La Paz, Mexico, the city where I was born. Agents interrogated me for hours and insisted I was a gang member because I’m from the Central Valley. They are all gang members there, they told me. It didn’t seem to matter how many times I told them that I wasn’t.” Daniel Ramirez Medina: I’m a ‘dreamer,’ but immigration agents detained me anyway (by Daniel Ramirez Medina for Washington Post)
“Born and raised in Houston, Barazi is a Muslim whose father emigrated from Syria and has been a US citizen for nearly four decades. Barazi’s mom said she couldn’t deal with the fear that her son might be singled out for extra inspection or, worse, detained when he tried to re-enter the United States. So Barazi, 22, joined the ranks of American Muslims whose ability to travel is restricted not by official Trump administration policy, but because they’re scared of what might happen when they land in US airport.” American Muslims Are Canceling Spring Break Trips To Avoid Being Hassled At The Airport (by Hannah Allam for Buzzfeed)
“House appropriations subcommittees began reviewing the plan late Wednesday. Among the cuts: drastic reductions in the 60-year-old State Department Food for Peace Program, which sends food to poor countries hit by war or natural disasters, and the elimination of the Department of Transportation’s Essential Air Service program, which subsidizes flights to rural airports.” Donald Trump Budget Slashes Funds for E.P.A. and State Department (by Glenn Thrush and Coral Davenport for the New York Times)
“”One of the officers calls out to me and says, ‘Hey, give me your phone,'” recalled Shibly. “And I said, ‘No, because I already went through this.'” The officer asked a second time. Within seconds, he was surrounded: one man held his legs, another squeezed his throat from behind. A third reached into his pocket, pulling out his phone. McCormick watched her boyfriend’s face turn red as the officer’s chokehold tightened.” American Citizens: U.S. Border Agents Can Search Your Cellphone
“Within the last week, nearly a dozen teens of color have gone missing in the Washington D.C. area. According to the D.C. Police Department, more than 10 Black and Latinx teens have been reported missing. Sadly, the only mention of their disappearance comes from a series of tweets including several messages from the police department’s Twitter account and a small number of online news sites, including The Root and Teen Vogue.” What We Know So Far About D.C.’s Missing Black and Latinx Teens (by Mariya Moseley for Essence)
“But it appears that Just Want Privacy’s latest fear-mongering effort has backfired. Last week, the group tried to use the story of Kelly Herron, a local marathoner who was allegedly attacked by a man in a Golden Gardens bathroom, to promote their anti-trans ballot measure in a fundraising e-mail and on Facebook. Unfortunately for Just Want Privacy, Herron has now spoken out against their campaign. “To the people behind I-1552, I say ‘not today, mutherf*ckers,'” Herron said in a public statement today about Just Want Privacy’s attempts to use her story, repeating the words she says she screamed at her attacker. “I refuse to allow anyone to use me and my horrific sexual assault to cause harm and discrimination to others.”” Golden Gardens Jogger Demands Anti-Trans Group Retract Fundraising Effort Using Her Story (by Sydney Brownstone for The Stranger)
“Drug overdoses have led to a spike in the number of bodies coming to the Stark County morgue — an increase of about 20 percent in the last year. The additional bodies led to the need for more space, so the coroner’s office borrowed a trailer from the state until it gets caught up. “I’ve been involved in public safety for 40 some years; I remember the drug problem we had in the late ’60s and early ’70s when I joined the department,” Walters said. “The fatality numbers are nothing even close to this.”” Drugs are killing so many people in Ohio that cold-storage trailers are being used as morgues (by Kristine Phillips for the Washington Post)
“Unlike the rest of the UK, abortion is a criminal offence in Northern Ireland, where women face up to life in prison. It is estimated that more than a thousand women each year travel to Great Britain for terminations. However, Northern Irish women are not entitled to free abortions on the NHS, despite being UK taxpayers and they instead must pay for private procedures. Activists say this means low-income women are increasingly unable to travel and are instead buying abortion pills online and taking them at home in Northern Ireland.” Northern Irish police raid women’s homes in crackdown on abortion pills (by Siobhan Fenton for The Independent)
“When it comes to issues related to health, state Rep. Jessica Farrar says that men should have to undergo the same “unnecessary” and “invasive” procedures that she says Texas women are subjected to under recently passed state laws. That’s why the the Houston Democrat on Friday filed House Bill 4260, which would fine men $100 for masturbating and create a required booklet for men with medical information related to the benefits and concerns of a man seeking a vasectomy, a Viagra prescription or a colonoscopy. The bill would also let doctors invoke their “personal, moralistic, or religious beliefs” in refusing to perform an elective vasectomy or prescribe Viagra, among other proposed requirements in the bill.” With proposal to penalize men for masturbating, legislator aims to shake up health debate (by Alex Samuels for The Texas Tribune)
“After a stop at the locked-down East Precinct at 12th and Pine, the huge three-block crowd of marchers made its way down 12th toward the King County Youth Services Center — also known as juvenile hall. Last week, activists learned that the the Hearing Examiner had dismissed an appeal blocking construction of a new youth jail and justice center at the site. In a decision issued last week, the examiner dismissed the appeal brought by Ending the Prison Industrial Complex’s asking for exceptions made in permits issued by the city to be overturned.” Protest march covers Black Lives Matter hot spots from Capitol Hill to youth jail to Midtown Center (by J Seattle for Capitol Hill Blog)
Horrific Executive Action and Legislation
“Today, Governor Daugaard signed Senate Bill 149 into law, making South Dakota the first state in 2017 to pass anti-LGBT legislation. The bill will allow taxpayer funded agencies to refuse to provide any service, including adoption or foster care services, on the basis on the agency’s religious or moral convictions.” Governor Daugaard Signs Discriminatory Senate Bill (ACLU)
“The officials told the Chronicle that agents feel free to engage in more “collateral arrests,” or arrests of people who are not the intended targets of the operation. These kinds of arrests were discouraged in the Obama years, when those with criminal records were the targets of raids. Now, agents are free to detain them if they’ve broken immigration law.” Immigration agents are reportedly basking in their new, less-regulated roles under Trump (by Matthew Rodriguez for Mic)
“Adichie saying that trans women once experienced male privilege before “changing” genders and implying that this disqualifies them from being women without an adjective erases their experiences of womanhood at all stages of their lives. It further ignores the very real violence they face (Chyna Gibson’s name still fresh on our lips, images of Dandara dos Santos’s brutal murder splashed across social media, at least seven trans women of color murdered in the US since 2017 began) and leaves nonbinary trans people and trans men out of the conversation entirely.” Why Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Comments on Trans Women are Wrong and Dangerous (by Jarune Uwujaren for Unapologetic Feminism)
“A lawyer representing the family told LGBTQ Nation this all started last month, with the parents trying to get medical help for their daughter, who has type 1 diabetes and epilepsy. Although they agreed to something called a “therapeutic separation,” the attorney confirmed the parents never signed any documents surrendering their parental rights or authorizing any treatment of her gender identity, and in fact have attempted to have her moved to another hospital.” Is Christian-run hospital forcing this 5-year-old transgender girl to be a boy? (by Dawn Ennis for LGBTQ Nation)
“In addition, the majority of more than 1,800 innocent defendants framed by law enforcement since 1989 in widespread police scandals are African American, says the report, “Race and Wrongful Convictions in the United States,” published Tuesday as a companion to the annual National Registry of Exonerations. “Judging from the cases we know, a substantial majority of innocent people who are convicted of crimes in the United States are African Americans,” the report declares.” Innocent Blacks More Likely Than Whites To Be Wrongfully Convicted (by Matt Ferner for Huffington Post)
“His claim—that if people would just make the right choices, they wouldn’t be so ding-dang poor—is part and parcel of the GOP’s long tradition of demonizing low-income members of the public. Republicans have been spouting the same canards for decades, castigating people with low incomes as lazy, moochers, and on the endless hunt for free stuff. And somehow the GOP seems to consistently equate poor with Black.” Jason Chaffetz’s Stance on iPhones and Health Care Is Both Heartless and Unoriginal (by Imani Gandy for Rewire)
“Despite this context, the creators of Speechless and the family drama Switched at Birth, both on air this spring, are talking to people with lived experience with disability, casting disabled people to play disabled characters, and using the structure of their respective genres to tell stories that ring true to a parent like me. And by incorporating unconventional families — which resemble my own in their battles over access and stigma — into classic American television genres, they are directing contemporary dialogues about disability straight at a mainstream audience.” The Shows Shaking Up Disability Representation on Television (by David M. Perry for Pacific Standard)
“Co-host Allison Kilkenny, who is also Kilstein’s estranged wife (they separated last year), announced Kilstein’s departure from the show via a Facebook post last Monday in which she wrote, “Recently, some disturbing allegations have been brought to my attention entailing several women who have accused Jamie of being manipulative, emotionally abusive, and predatory in his behavior.” It’s not clear, however, whether any specific incident triggered the departure.” Progressive Performer Jamie Kilstein Ousted From Citizen Radio After ‘Disturbing Allegations’ (by Prachi Gupta for Jezebel)
“US District Court Judge Mark R. Hornak issued a temporary injunction barring Pine-Richland School District from enforcing a policy that said transgender students could either use single-person bathrooms or facilities matching their birth sex. In issuing his opinion suspending that policy, Hornak ruled that the students would likely prevail on their claims that the rule denied their equal protection rights under the equal protection guarantee of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution.” Transgender Sister Of Singer At Trump Inauguration Wins Federal Court Bathroom Ruling (by Dominic Holden for Buzzfeed)
Horrific Executive Action and Legislation
“A recent Department of Homeland Security draft report did not find evidence that the people excluded because of the Muslim ban pose a terror threat to the country. As the Washington Post reported, “more than half of the 82 people who died in the pursuit of or were convicted of any terrorism-related offense inspired by a foreign terrorist organization, slightly more than half were native-born U.S. citizens.”” Trump lied. Right-wing extremists — not foreigners — commit more terror attacks in the U.S. (by Esther Yu Hsi Lee for Think Progress)
“The bill, SF 253, would give a fetus “the same rights and protections guaranteed to all persons by the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Iowa,” and the laws of Iowa. A three-person state senate subcommittee on Monday voted to advance the bill.” Bill Outlawing Abortion Advances in Iowa Legislature (Updated) (by Michelle D. Anderson for Rewire)
“Whenever there’s a serious infectious disease outbreak, inside or even outside the US, the CDC leads the response. The scientists and researchers there are tasked with identifying outbreaks, and creating plans to stop them from spreading. Should a pandemic or any other public health crisis occur, we would want a team of experienced professionals in place that already knows the lay of the land, and has the administration’s trust,” said Wendy Parmet, a professor of health policy at Northeastern University. “The sooner that team forms, the better.”” Trump has set the US up to botch a global health crisis (by Julia Belluz for Vox)
“Ali is the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar, a particularly notable achievement in 2017, when the White House has placed travel restrictions on individuals from several Muslim-majority nations. This win also makes Ali the fifth black actor to achieve a Supporting Actor Oscar.” Mahershala Ali Becomes The First Muslim Actor To Win An Oscar (by Maddie Crum for the Huffington Post)
“Davis, a Juilliard alum, has had quite the impressive journey. After winning a 2001 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her portrayal in the original production of King Hedley II, she power-walked into her breakout film role in Doubt, which earned the actress her first Oscar nomination. Once critics and audiences alike saw her accomplish the seemingly impossible–stealing a scene from Meryl Streep–her fame skyrocketed into oblivion. Davis went on to portray powerhouses in The Help, Shondaland’s How to Get Away With Murder, and mostly recently Fences–each of these roles brought the actress an array of accolades.” No, Viola Davis is Not the ‘Black Meryl Streep’ (by Tonja Renee Stidhum for Ebody)
Misogyny at Work
“The allegations of AJ Vandermeyden, who still works at the celebrated electric car manufacturer, paint a picture of a hostile work environment dominated by men where inappropriate sexual behavior is tolerated and women face numerous barriers to advance their careers.” A female engineer is suing Tesla for alleged sexism and harassment (by Sam Levin for The Guardian)
“Declarations from roughly 250 women and men who worked at Sterling, filed as part of a private class-action arbitration case, allege that female employees at the company throughout the late 1990s and 2000s were routinely groped, demeaned and urged to sexually cater to their bosses to stay employed. Sterling disputes the allegations.” Hundreds allege sex harassment, discrimination at Kay and Jared jewelry company (by Drew Harwell for Washington Post)
“In one instance, a woman corporal in uniform was followed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina by a fellow Marine, who surreptitiously photographed her as she picked up her gear. Those photographs were posted online in the Facebook group “Marines United,” which has nearly 30,000 followers, drawing dozens of obscene comments.” Hundreds of Marines investigated for sharing photos of naked colleagues (by Thomas James Brennan for Reveal)
“While the team is committed to maintaining their professionalism and quality as the world’s best squad on the field, they’ve also been tasked with the herculean task of coaxing a federation that unfairly allots time and resources towards the men’s squad to see them merely as equals to their male counterparts. And however the women’s squad might have tried to maintain this difficult balance, the cracks of this tenuous relationship had already begun to show before this action against peaceful protest was put into place, and the context of that relationship simply can’t be ignored.” New US Soccer National Anthem Policy Unfairly Targets, Silences Women’s Team (by Claire Watkins for Vavel)
“Kalyb kept trying to walk away from the officer, and got more upset the farther they walked. The officer then handcuffed the 50-pound, four-foot boy and marched him to the principal’s office. According to the incident report, the officer said he cuffed the boy, who “appeared to be out of control,” to keep him from hurting himself.” Kids in Cuffs: Why Handcuff a Student With a Disability (by Hannah Rappleye, Brenda Breslauer, Stephanie Gosk and Kenzi Abou-Sabe for NBC)
“So here’s what actually happened to those 12 or so individuals, according to Chloe Gale. Gale is the program director for REACH, the organization that provides outreach and offers services during encampment sweeps. REACH has been working with encampment residents “for about a year,” Gale says, “trying to figure out good solutions for the folks who were living there.”” The City Swept an Encampment Near the Ballard Locks. Here’s Where the Campers Went (by Erica C. Barnett forC is for Crank)
“If you have “three to six” hours per month you can give toward helping “advise and guide our City departments to assess, improve, and develop authentic and thorough outreach and engagement to all residents,” the city’s newly forming Community Involvement Commission needs you.” City of Seattle seeks candidates for Community Involvement Commission (by Capitol Hill Seattle Blog)
“As nurses we can all help. We can talk to our colleagues and make sure they know about the changes, we can lobby our managers to vocally oppose the scheme and put up posters reassuring patients, and we can make it clear that we will not be checking passports ourselves. There will no doubt be severe backlash from management, but if we support each other they will have to listen.” This is how nurses like me will be resisting passport checks on our wards (by Evan Luckes for The Independent)
“Upset about damaging leaks of his calls with world leaders and other national security information, Trump has ordered an internal investigation to find the leakers. Staffers, meanwhile, are so fearful of being accused of talking to the media that some have resorted to a secret chat app — Confide — that erases messages as soon as they’re read.” Upheaval is now standard operating procedure inside the White House (by Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker for the Washington Post)
““The unique thing about President Trump is that he knows what it costs to run a plane. Going down [to Mar-a-Lago] ain’t free.” The three Mar-a-Lago trips in Palm Beach cost the federal treasury around $10m, based on figures used in an October government report analysing White House travel. This includes cash for coast guards to patrol the exposed shoreline. Trump family trips cost taxpayers $11.3m in one month – almost as much as Obama’s cost in a year (by Peter Walker at The Independent)
“If Pippin had lived in a house, the officer’s actions likely would have amounted to an illegal search. Unless an officer has a warrant or extenuating circumstances, the US Constitution protects you from a cop walking in your front door, seeing drugs, and arresting you. The Fourth Amendment guarantees people’s right to be “secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures,” and the Washington State Constitution adds that “no person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law.”” Is a Tarp a Home? (by Heidi Groover for The Stranger)
“Understanding how the penal system operates helps to illuminate that, counter to Bauer’s claims, the CCA are not the ones calling the shots. Rather, they are following the laws and policies put in place by the state legislature and other state officials. For instance, Bauer implies that Winn’s guards and officials revoke incarcerated men’s “good time” for slight prison violations so that CCA officials may collect more cash for their extended incarceration. This assertion simultaneously ignores the routine taking back of good time at publicly run state prisons and erases the decades-long assaults on good time by tough on crime politicians that have created the mechanisms for guards to reduce and revoke good time in the first place.” Getting the Facts Right: How the Mother Jones Fixation with Private Prisons Misleads Us (A Late Rejoinder) (by Lydia Pelot-Hobbs)
“If your goal is to get people to see our humanity, why is it wrong for us to act human?
Because I am human, I’ll get angry and frustrated if you say things that are hurtful to me. Because I am human, I’ll get tired and struggle in the face of persistent barriers. Because I am human, I’ll have needs and take up space. I trust that the people in my life will see these truths as well and adjust their attitudes to make room for me. I am lucky enough that for the most part, they do. As for those who do not, who hold me to a standard they would never hold themselves to — we are not operating from the same basic premise in the first place. No number of words from me can change that.” I’m Not Going To Be Nice About Ableism (by Alex Lu for The Establishment)
““What people should know about these bathroom bills that criminalize trans people… is that these bills are not about bathrooms,” Cox told “CBS This Morning.” “They’re about whether trans people have the right to exist in public space. If we can’t access public bathrooms, we can’t go to school, we can’t work, we can’t go to healthcare facilities ― this is about public accommodations and public accommodations are always key to civil rights. I can’t help but think about that moment from ‘Hidden Figures’ when Taraji P. Henson’s character has to walk 45 minutes to the bathroom ― Gavin had to go to a special ‘gender neutral’ bathroom, a nurses bathroom that was way out of the way.”” Laverne Cox References ‘Hidden Figures’ To Make Powerful Point About Trans Rights (by James Michael Nichols for Huffington Post)
“So picture a hypothetical situation for a moment: Based on a regulation from the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, a restaurant with a steep staircase leading to its front door is required to add a ramp to its entrance. Now imagine that business added an “ADA surcharge” to the bottom of its checks, along with a passive-aggressive note explaining that the fee is to pay for the installation of the ramp. Customers would understandably lose their minds. There would be a very real, very loud—and very deserved—furor over the owner’s business decision.” What to Do When A Restaurant Puts a Minimum-Wage Service Charge on Your Bill (by Paul Constant)
“Edel McGinley of the Migrant Rights Centre of Ireland (MRCI) said the new laws will not protect the most vulnerable – migrants, asylum seekers, refugees doing survival sex work. She said: “It promotes harmful stigmatisation and obstructs access to justice. We know from our decade of work on human trafficking and forced labour that this approach will not help victims of trafficking.”” ‘This approach will not help victims of trafficking’: Groups at odds as sex bill passes final stage (by Garreth MacNamee for The Journal)