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Gretchen Carlson. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images)


The Week in Women: A treeviction, a baby-naming business and a $20M settlement

September 9, 2016

Money reigned supreme during this week’s news cycle, with profits, payouts, and pecuniary woes dominating the headlines. Let’s take a look back, shall we?

A 65-year-old grandmother, who has lived in an open-air tree house for 24 years, is facing eviction (treeviction?) because she cannot afford to renovate her home according to county standards. Shawnee Chasser of Biscayne Gardens, Florida has resided in her tree house since 1992 because, she says, she has an aversion to living indoors. County officials claim that the tree house does not meet strict building codes put in place to protect against hurricanes, and should therefore be demolished within three months. Chasser has vowed to chain herself to her tree house if officials try to tear it down. Only in Florida, right?

Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson received a $20 million settlement from the network, some two months after she brought sexual harassment claims against Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. Several other female employees, who had also accused Ailes of sexual impropriety, settled as well. Ailes unceremoniously stepped down as head of Fox News last month (and, for what it’s worth, received a $40 million severance payment.) 21st Century Fox, the network’s parent company, said in a statement: “We sincerely regret and apologize for the fact that Gretchen was not treated with the respect that she and all our colleagues deserve.”

NARAL Pro-Choice America, a prominent abortion rights group, has launched a $175,000 TV ad campaign against Florida senator Marco Rubio. The ad targets Rubio for supporting a bill that seeks to allocate $1.1 billion to Zika emergency funding, but also restricts women’s access to abortions. “Marco Rubio voted against funding health clinics that provide critical care during this public health emergency,” the ad says. “And Marco Rubio continues to be against a woman’s right to choose an abortion, even if they are infected with the Zika virus.” Rubio has voted in favor of every Zika funding proposal to date. But he said last month that he would rather “err on the side of life” than allow a Zika-infected woman to terminate a pregnancy.

A British teen says she has earned $63,000 by helping Chinese parents choose English names for their children. Sixteen-year-old Beau Jessup is the founder of Special Name, a website that offers shortlists of names generated from “individual preference and what [families] personally want their child to be.” Jessup told the Telegraph that the idea was born during a trip to China, where she heard “lots of examples where people had chosen culturally inappropriate English names” for their children — names like Gandalf and Rolex, which could become problematic should the children in question ever decide to study or live abroad. But considering that native English speakers are now naming their kids after Game of Thrones characters and Instagram filters, the Rolexes of the world should be just fine.