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Barbara Kinney.


The Week in Women: An about-face for Clinton, a call for change in the Middle East, and a chilling online men’s movement

September 30, 2016

The internet has become inextricably entwined with modern life, which can be both a good and bad thing (Good: Videos of baby hedgehogs. Bad: Donald Trump’s Twitter account). It’s hardly any wonder, then, that this was a digitally-oriented week in news. Let’s take a look back, shall we?

Thousands of men who have sworn off relationships with women have created a rather unpalatable virtual community known as “Men Going Their Own Way” (MGTOW). On websites and forums, MGTOW denounce gender equality as a sham, paint pop songs as feminist propaganda, and portray the entire female species as manipulative gold diggers out to crush the male spirit. The origins of the movement are somewhat nebulous, but the site claims that “MGTOW is not as old as fire, but it’s as old as a man’s first discovery of it. If MTGOW is fire, then perhaps feminism is gasoline.” At this point, we’re not really sure if we should laugh or cry.

Hillary Clinton held a campaign event in Orlando to meet young supporters … who greeted the presidential candidate by turning their backs and snapping selfies with Clinton in the background. A staffer tweeted a photo of all this frenetic photo-taking, and it quickly went viral. The whole scene was not as organic, or as rude, as it seems: Clinton had invited her supporters to take a “group selfie.” But you can safely assume that there was still a lot of grumpy moaning about how people these days just don’t experience life, you know?

Some 17,000 people in Saudi Arabia have signed an online petition calling on the government to abolish the country’s oppressive guardianship system. Under Saudi law, women must obtain the permission of a male relative before carrying out many fundamental tasks, like traveling, marrying and, in some cases, accepting employment. There has been growing resistance to the guardianship system in Saudi Arabia, and several clerics have reportedly put their name to the petition, suggesting that they do not believe guardianship laws have any religious basis. Or as activist Aziza Al-Yousef put it: “They all declared that this is not religion, this is all government rules and it should be changed.”

Vitalii Sediuk, the Ukrainian “prankster” who accosted model Gigi Hadid last week, has taken to Instagram to explain his latest antic: trying to kiss Kim Kardashian’s behind as she walked down the street during Paris Fashion Week. “I was protesting Kim for using fake butt implants,” he wrote. “I encourage her and the rest of Kardashian clan to popularize natural beauty among teenage girls who follow and defend them blindly.” Assaulting women in the interest of championing women? Makes perfect sense to us!