The Week in Women: Theresa May takes a shot at Trump, a Confederate statue comes down, and an Australian senator wears a burqa

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May. (REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge)

This week’s news roundup is devoted to bold statements—some of them effective, others … well, you be the judge. Let’s take a look back, shall we?

British Prime Minister Theresa May did not mince words about Donald Trump’s refusal to unequivocally condemn the white nationalist rallies that left one woman dead in Charlottesville, Virginia. “I see no equivalence between those who propound fascist views and those who oppose them,” said May on Wednesday. “I think it is important for all those in positions of responsibility to condemn far right views wherever we hear them.” Trump had previously said that “many sides” were to blame for the violence at the rallies, and that some among the white nationalists were “very fine people.” Oh, maybe he means these guys?

Takiya Thompson, a member of the far-left Workers World Party and a student at N.C. Central University, was arrested for her role in taking down a Confederate statue in Durham, N.C. She is facing felony charges, which could result in her spending years in prison. Footage from the incident shows Thompson tying a rope around the statue’s neck, and helping a crowd of protestors pull it to the ground. “We are tired of waiting on politicians who could have voted to remove the white supremacist statues years ago, but they failed to act,” Thompson at the press conference before her arrest. “So we acted.”

And now for some folks who shouldn’t be quite so bold. A survey by NPR found that the words men use to harass women are consistent across the country. “Damn” and “baby” are particular favorites, as are sexual gestures, honks, and whistles. Benjamin Bailey, an associate professor of communication at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, who researches street harassment, told NPR that phrases like, ‘Hi, beautiful,’ and ‘Hi, sweetie,” are also common. “Very boring, surely sexist, but the vast majority … are these subtle things that are appropriate in other contexts and give an out to that person,” he said. “It’s hard to fight back against.”

The founder and leader of Australia’s anti-immigrant One Party shocked her fellow senators on Thursday when she arrived at the chamber clad in a burka. Senator Pauline Hanson, who last year claimed that Australia was “in danger of being swamped by Muslims,” later removed her head covering and explained that she wanted to ban the burka from Australia. A recent report by the Trump administration listed the One Party as a threat to religious freedom, in part due to Hanson’s comments about Muslims. Which is a little rich, but point taken.

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