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The Week in Women: It’s Nancy’s House Now – India’s ‘Women’s Wall’ – RBG’s Scriptwriting Debut

By on January 3, 2019

TODAY’S THE DAY
Our tiny violins play for Paul Ryan as he walks out the door. At noon today, America’s most female congress will convene for the first time, led in the House of Representatives by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But this group hasn’t waited until lunchtime to get started — support for a ‘Green New Deal’ to combat climate change has grown thanks to incoming congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Deb Haaland, and Rashida Tlaib, who have made the plan central to their platforms. Meanwhile, at 1600 Pennsylvania, Ivanka Trump had to postpone the launch of her women’s economic empowerment initiative because of her father’s government shutdown.

NEWS TO KNOW
Flanked by plainclothes policemen, two Indian women made history yesterday by walking into a Hindu shrine after months of protests against their entry. The action followed a New Year’s Day protest that saw millions of Indian women form a ‘Women’s Wall’ human chain in support of gender equality, united in outrage that the shrine had ignored a Supreme Court order to open its doors to women of “menstruating age.”

After Rodrigo Duterte revealed he molested his maid as a teenager, no one’s sure if it was an apology or a boast. (Duterte’s spokesman later told CNN Philippines that he made up the story.) Our bets are on the latter, given that he once talked about shooting women in the genitals and joked that he might congratulate a man for “having the balls” to rape Miss Universe.

PAUSE YOUR EYEROLL
For a different kind of craft beer story. In New Mexico, a brewery run by Native American women is taking on the predominantly white, male hops scene — and creating a haven for the tribal community.

LUNCHBREAK
“Ginsburg reviewed the script as if it were a contract.” A behind-the-scenes look at the making of On the Basis of Sex reveals just how involved Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was in her new biopic. She immediately edited the first line, which described her wearing heels to her orientation at Harvard Law School (she wore flats). Next Tuesday’s episode of The TBD Podcast (January 8th) is all about the Notorious RBG, featuring Tina Brown’s interview with the actress who plays her, Felicity Jones, and NPR’s Veteran Supreme Court expert Nina Totenberg.

Scarlett Johansson has given her opinion on a growing adult film trend that uses artificial intelligence to put a celebrity’s face on an actress’ body. Fighting the scourge is a “useless pursuit”, Johansson says, as long as the internet remains a “lawless abyss.”

IMPORTANT
If a woman loses her pregnancy in the United States, she can be charged with manslaughter. It happened to one woman who lost her child after a car accident, and another whose opioid addiction continued into her pregnancy. The New York Times found hundreds of these verdicts since 1973, concluding that as unborn fetuses have been given more protection under U.S. law, rights have been stripped from their mothers in the process. Today, at least 38 states and the federal government have “fetal homicide laws.” You have to read this.

DOWNTIME
Celine Dion is as powerless as the rest of us against a Lady Gaga chorus. The internet is rejoicing at a series of fan videos showing her losing it to Gaga’s biggest hits during a live show in Las Vegas.

HYPOCRISY
Alex Farquharson, the man in charge of Tate Britain, bathed happily in media praise after he announced that an April exhibition would celebrate female artists from the past 60 years. But while five Turner Prize-winning women will be fighting for visibility in that exhibition alongside 25 others, the picture looks a little different when you zoom out. Male artists at Tate Britain this year will get seven solo exhibitions – even though many of Britain’s major contemporary art awards have gone to women in recent years. The last three Turner Prize winners were women, and this year, Britain will send a female artist as its representative to the Venice Biennale for the third time in a row. We have to ask: what these awards are for if the public isn’t seeing the work?

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