Former first daughter Jenna Bush Hager told People magazine that she believes her father is a feminist, as evidenced by the way he raised her twin sister Barbara and herself. “People laugh at this, but I think my dad was a feminist,” the 35-year-old told the magazine. “He showed us that we could be whatever we wanted to be. I want my girls to feel that way. I want them to feel strong and capable and feel like they can conquer the world.” Hager considers herself a feminist, as she said in a 2015 interview at South by Southwest, “There is nothing wrong with the word ‘feminism.’ Anyone that’s for women — which I am, as a woman, as the mother of a little girl, and as someone who’s worked with women all over the world, what’s wrong with supporting women? There’s nothing wrong with that. I would say I’m a feminist, and a proud one.” Not everyone would be inclined to describe Dubya as a feminist: As CNN points out, the former president restored the “Mexico City policy” in 2001, which prohibited taxpayer funds from being used to pay or promote abortions, and changed a Title IX gender discrimination requirement for universities in 2009. At the 2016 Women in the World Summit, Hager and her twin sister appeared along with their mother, former first lady Laura Bush, at the Women in the World New York Summit and took part in a conversation with Today show host Savannah Guthrie. Watch their full interview below.
Read the full story at CNN.
A longtime stalker of former President Barack Obama’s eldest daughter, Malia Obama, has reportedly been detained by U.S. Secret Service agents after publicly begging her to marry him. On April 10, sources said, Brooklynite Jair Nilton Cardoso, 30, was seen putting a sign in the window of the Tribeca building where Obama, 18, was working as an intern before loudly making a public marriage proposal. At the time, two Secret Service agents on Malia’s detail removed him from the building.
Only two days later, sources said, Cardoso was spotted following Obama after she left work at another internship in the West Village. After he was stopped by Secret Service agents who recognized him from previous attempts to break into the White House, agents warned the lovesick man to stay away from the first daughter. The following day, agents interviewed Cardoso at his Brooklyn apartment, and took him to a hospital for evaluation after concluding that the man was suffering psychiatric issues.
On Tuesday, agents reported Cardoso to the NYPD, which is reportedly determining whether to file stalking or harassment charges against him.
Read the full story at The New York Daily News.
After Serena Williams posted a Snapchat mirror picture with the words “20 weeks” on Wednesday, rumors started flying about a potential pregnancy — but the tennis star quickly deleted the snap, only ramping up the intrigue. There has been no official confirmation from her representatives, even though many players and other channels started congratulating the athlete on social media. If Williams has indeed been pregnant for 20 weeks, that means that the 35-year old won her record-breaking 23rd title at the Australian Open while expecting. She has not played a single tournament since — having pulling out of several and blaming her absence on a knee injury.
Read the full story at The New York Times.
Anti-fascist protester Louise Rosealma has spoken out in the wake of a now viral video that showed her being sucker-punched by a white supremacist during a pro-Trump rally in downtown Berkeley over the weekend. Rosealma said that the assault by Nathan Damigo, the founder of white supremacist group Identity Evropa who claims to be a former U.S. Marine, was unprovoked and that she was also “punched twice more by two other people.”
“People kept trying to throw me down to hit my heads on the rock that were in the planter,” Rosealma recalled. “I was just trying to not get my skull cracked open.”
At least 21 people were arrested during clashes at a pro-Trump “Patriots Day” rally — organized in response to the hundreds of “Tax Marches” being held nationwide in protest of Trump’s continued refusal to release his tax returns — as hundreds of protesters and counter-protesters threw stones, lit fires, tossed explosives and tear gas, and brawled in the street with makeshift weapons. A representative for the Berkeley Police said that the department had deployed “most” of its entire police force to the scene, but that still wasn’t enough officers to contain protests of such a large scale.
“It’s challenging,” said Berkeley Mayor Jessie Arreguin. “They had helmets. They had shields, they had weapons and this is something we really haven’t seen before.”
Rosealma, for her part, said that she, her boyfriend, and other members of the Antifa anti-fascist group had traveled to Berkeley from Southern California to take part in the counter demonstration. Shortly after they arrived at the scene, however, she said a smoke bomb went off and they were attacked by white nationalists and neo-Nazis.
“I remember turning around and from the corner of my eye I saw this fist coming at me,” she said. “I put my arms up to try and push him away as much as I could. He just threw himself into me.” By the time she got up, she said, her attacker had fled the scene.
In the wake of the incident, she said that alt-right trolls had begun harassing her “non-stop” on social media as footage of the scene went viral.
“They are trying to make me into this trophy — the victory of the alt right and neo-Nazis,” she told CBS News. “It’s petty and pathetic.”
Watch the video of the attack below.
Read the full story at The Daily Mail.
In 2012, Lauren Bates set up the “Everyday Sexism Project,” a website where users can share their daily run-ins, big or small, with gender inequality, which quickly became an online phenomenon. In a column for The Guardian, Bates reflects on the past five years and the many experiences it brought her — both negative and positive. Bates describes the numerous snide remarks, insults and even rape threats she had to face, which ranged from being called “humorless” to a “dripping poison that had to be removed from the world.” She writes that this was hard to bear, along with the sadness of the experience she was gathering from women — but there were joyful moments too, including the solidarity from other women, being part of a “burgeoning wave of feminism” and being able to affect real change through work with schools, business, police forces and other groups.
But the most vital lesson she learned, is how closely linked different forms of inequality are. “It is vital to resist those who mock and criticize us for tackling ‘minor’ manifestations of prejudice, because these are the things that normalize and ingrain the treatment of women as second-class citizens, opening the door for everything else, from workplace discrimination to sexual violence,” she writes. “To be a feminist, I have learned, is to be accused of oversensitivity, hysteria and crying wolf. But in the face of the abuse the project uncovered, the sheer strength, ingenuity and humor of women shone like a beacon.” This is why the past five years have left her “more hopeful than despairing,” she observes. “In five years, I have learned that the problem is immense, but the will to fight it is greater still.”
Read the full story at The Guardian.
In Afghanistan, divorces initiated by women are on the rise. While there are no official numbers, some estimate that the number might have grown fivefold over the past decade. Nevertheless, divorced women are still not seen as independently functioning adults and face persistent harassment, from both the government and other citizens. “We are optimistic because now women have come out from behind the house walls and ask their rights, and now they know how to ask their rights and from where,” Judge Rahima Rezaee, a senior family court judge said. However, many have not adapted to this new mindset yet, causing women to face continued social struggles after a divorce, including social stigma, not being helped or taken seriously in government offices, having trouble signing their own leases and having to deal with predatory behavior. “I did not tell anyone about my status — sometimes, I told them my husband is in Iran,” Zahra Yaganah, a 32-year-old activist and writer who has been divorced for about a decade said. “But when people find out that I am divorced — I feel like a divorced woman is up for grabs for the men around her.”
Read the full story at The New York Times.
The “No-Spin Zone” just became the no-Bill zone. Permanently. 21st Century Fox announced in a brief statement on Wednesday that the longtime Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly will not return to his job as host of The O’Reilly Factor. O’Reilly has been on vacation this week and not on the air. “After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” the statement read.
The official news of O’Reilly’s dismissal followed a report by New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman saying the network had reached a decision to force O’Reilly out. Sources told Sherman that the Murdochs, the family that controls Fox News’ parent company, planned to terminate the embattled TV host’s employment before his scheduled return from a vacation in Italy on April 24. In a meeting held Wednesday morning, sources said that executives discussed how best to fire O’Reilly from the top-rated program on cable news, The O’Reilly Factor, without alienating loyal Fox News viewers.
With accusations of sexual assault swirling in the wake of a damning New York Times report that claimed he and Fox News paid $13 million to at least five women to settle sexual harassment claims made against him, O’Reilly announced last week that he would take a vacation. Law firm Paul, Weiss — the same firm hired to investigated deposed Fox News CEO Roger Ailes — is also reportedly investigating O’Reilly’s behavior in response to a harassment claim made by former Fox contributor Dr. Wendy Walsh. On Tuesday, yet another accuser came forward with allegations about O’Reilly. The unnamed woman claimed through her lawyer that O’Reilly called her “hot chocolate” and that he would “grunt at her like a wild boar” in lieu of normal greetings, like saying “hello.”
The news of O’Reilly’s ouster came as a surprise to many Fox News staffers who spoke with Sherman. Staffers said that they had expected Rupert Murdoch’s preference for retaining O’Reilly would overcome the protests of his son James, who felt that O’Reilly should be fired. According to one source, the internal battle was decided after Lachlan Murdoch’s wife convinced him that O’Reilly’s behavior had been unacceptable, and that he should side with his brother James against their father. However, to observers outside the network, the looming outcome was hardly a surprise, as people were seen laying flowers beneath O’Reilly’s poster outside of Fox News headquarters in New York City on Wednesday morning. More than 50 sponsors had pulled their ads from O’Reilly’s show in the wake of the revelations, according to The New York Times. O’Reilly has repeatedly denied the accusations against him.
Executives were reportedly deciding whether O’Reilly would be allowed to give an official on-air send off to his remarkably loyal TV following. Even after advertisers abandoned O’Reilly in the wake of sexual harassment allegations, ratings for The O’Reilly Factor had increased.
Meanwhile in Italy, in an odd intercontinental twist to the story, a vacationing O’Reilly briefly met Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday morning at a weekly audience open to the public. O’Reilly was given a special VIP seat in a section behind the stage holding the papal throne and was photographed talking and shaking hands with the pontiff.
In February 2016, O’Reilly had condemned the pope for suggesting that good Christians build “bridges” instead of “walls” — comments seemingly critical of Trump’s plan to build a wall on the Mexican border. O’Reilly said he wanted to meet the pontiff so he could share his own thoughts on what it really means to be Christian, and further suggested that he would like to “bring the family of Kate Steinle,” an American woman killed by a Mexican laborer who had been deported multiple times, to the meeting as well.
Later on Wednesday afternoon, O’Reilly issued a statement once again saying that the claims against him are “completely unfounded.”
Will O’Reilly, who is 67, be able to land a job with another network after such a swift and dramatic fall from grace? Almost certainly not with any of the major cable news networks, but Joe Concha, a columnist for The Hill, writes that O’Reilly will likely have some options.