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Rose Mallinger. (Courtesy of the Mallinger family)
Rose Mallinger. (Courtesy of the Mallinger family)


The Week in Women: A synagogue shooting victim remembered, latest Louis C.K. show has a new twist and Brazil elects a far-right president

By Brigit Katz on November 2, 2018

Halloween may have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean the frights are over. Here are the stories that spooked us (and sometimes made us hopelessly sad) this week:

Nineteen Filipina women were reportedly arrested and detained in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, after local officials raided a Halloween party at a private compound. The women could face charges for violating the country’s Sharia law, which prohibits single men and women from interacting in public. The public celebration of non-Islamic holidays is also banned in Saudi Arabia, but a recent U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom found that Saudi religious police frequently targeted “private non-Muslim religious gatherings.” The Philippine ambassador in Riyadh has warned expats to “avoid mixed crowds, consuming liquor, and holding public practice of traditions that are associated with religions other than Islam, such as Halloween, Valentines and Christmas.”

Rose Mallinger, a 97-year-old woman who rarely missed services at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, was among 11 people killed in a massacre there on Saturday. Chuck Diamond, a former rabbi at the synagogue, told The Washington Post that Mallinger had been attending services for decades, and was always one of the first to arrive. “She was just so full of life,” he said. “She had so much energy.” The alleged gunman, Robert Bowers, is a 46-year-old with a history of posting anti-Semitic rants on the social platform Gab. The Anti-Defamation League has said the shooting on Saturday was the deadliest attack against Jews in all of American history. Mallinger, who was known as “Bubbie” (Yiddish for “grandma”) by family members, was laid to rest at a service in Pittsburgh on Friday.

Here’s something to make you jump: Louis C.K., who has admitted to masturbating in front of women without their consent, keeps showing up at the Comedy Cellar in New York City, usually during unannounced sets at the end of a show. But this week, there was a new twist and his performance there was advertised, which prompted two protestors to show up and greet him. One of said protestors, Jennifer Boudinot, held a sign that read, “When you support Louis C.K., you tell women your laughter is more important than their sexual assaults and loss of their careers.” Inside, C.K. was contrite about his past abuses — JK, he made light of it. “So what kind of year have you guys had?” he asked the audience. Um, a pretty upsetting one, actually, thanks to guys who have been rampantly abusing their power.

Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right populist who has a history of making disturbing comments about women, was elected Brazil’s newest president on Sunday. Among his other shocking remarks, Bolsonaro once told Brazilian Congresswoman Maria do Rosario that she was “ugly,” and noted, “I wouldn’t rape you because you don’t deserve it.” Oh, and he also has promised to liberalize gun laws, give police more leeway to kill suspected criminals, appoint military leaders to top positions in his cabinet, exile his political opponents, “beat up” any men that he sees kissing in the street, and reduce legal protections for Afro-Brazilians. Excuse us while we build a depression tent and never come out.

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Previously in The Week in Women

Ethiopia’s first woman president, Meghan’s first royal speech and a ‘Golden Girls’ cereal craze

Love blossoms on ‘The Bachelor’ and other secrets and revelations that surprised us

Melania feels bullied, Taylor talks politics and a son has an unwitting #HimToo moment