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Protestors hold a sign in front of the News Corporation Headquarters in New York April 20 , 2017, after Fox News cut ties with Bill O'Reilly over sexual harassment allegations. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)


The Week in Women: O’Reilly’s ouster, a documentary on menopause, and manterruptions at the Supreme Court

April 21, 2017

All good things must come to an end, and so do many bad ones (#UnicornFrappucino). It will come as no surprise, then, that this week’s news cycle was rife with terminations, breaks, and interruptions. Let’s take a look back, shall we?

Bill O’Reilly was pushed out of his job as the longtime host of The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News. O’Reilly’s ouster comes on the heels of a New York Times report claiming that multiple sexual harassment lawsuits were leveled against the political commentator, and that O’Reilly and Fox News paid $13 million to keep the allegations out of court. Following his ignominious departure from the network, O’Reilly will reportedly receive a modest severance package of $25 million. Anyone else have a serious case of déjà vu?

Women of Bihar, one of the poorest regions in India, have banded together to put a stop to excessive alcohol consumption among local men. Alcohol is banned in the region, and consuming the stuff can incur a prison sentence of seven years. Women have embraced the ban with zeal, hoping to deter their male relatives from spending precious funds on getting drunk. According to local police, 60 percent of alcohol-related tips are made by women. And on a recent Saturday, dozens of broom-wielding women reportedly sent a man fleeing through a rice field after uncovering his secret cache of fruit alcohol. As the old adage goes, hell hath no fury like an incensed lady with a broom.

A new study posits that female Supreme Court justices are interrupted about three times more frequently than their male counterparts. After poring through court transcripts (cameras are not allowed in the nation’s highest court), Northwestern Law professor Tonja Jacobi found that Supreme Court justices often cut each other off mid-conversation. But Jacobi also uncovered several instances of a lawyer interrupting a female Supreme Court justice— something that rarely happened to male justices. We have a hard time imagining that anyone would cross that line with Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She may be tiny, but she works out.

Renowned Scottish journalist Kirsty Wark has made a new documentary for the BBC that explores a little-talked-about aspect of the female experience: the end of fertility. The Menopause and Me delves into the symptoms and treatments associated with the decline of reproductive hormones in women, and was inspired by Wark’s own experience with menopause. “Suddenly, I had no estrogen and the disturbed sleep and night sweats started,” Wark recalled. “I just coped with it, as so many others do.” Menopause is certainly no picnic today, but at least we can be thankful that we don’t live in the 1800s, when doctors treated menopausal symptoms with vaginal injections of lead (no, no, a million times no).