Apr 20
Her eye on the news
‘Not your fault’

Joy Lane, the ex-girlfriend of so-called “Facebook killer” Steve W. Stephens, has become the target of abuse over social media since Stephens forced his victim to say Lane’s name before murdering him on Easter Sunday and then sharing the clip to Facebook under the hashtag #JoyLaneMassacre.

Within hours of Stephens’ reported suicide on Tuesday after a long police chase, camera crews were crowding Lane’s front door questioning what she would have to say to her “two very young girls.” In the video’s comments section, YouTube users offered a snapshot into the abuse that Lane said she’s endured since the killing.

“Moral: don’t date Joy Lane,” wrote one viewer.

“He killed people because of a fat b***h,” another chimed in.

A few hours before cameras began crowding Lane’s doorstep, she appeared on camera voluntarily in a park where she met, and embraced, two daughters of her ex-boyfriend’s alleged victim, Robert Godwin Sr.

“I don’t know if I know how to be Joy Lane anymore,” she told Cleveland station WJW. “The hashtags: #JoyLane, #JoyLaneMassacre. I’ve been called every cuss word in the book. I’ve been told I’m the one who should have died.”

While some media outlets, such as Ebony, have defended Lane, others have been more than willing to share personal information about Lane to a public suddenly eager for information. Rolling Out made Lane’s workplace public knowledge after combing through Lane’s deleted LinkedIn and Facebook profiles, while outlets such as Heavy released information about her through articles such as “Steve Stephen’s Girlfriend: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know.”

Sitting on a park bench with Godwin Sr.’s daughters on Tuesday morning, Lane apologized for what had happened to their father.

“We are sorry, too,” one of the daughters told her. “But it’s not your fault.”

Watch video coverage of the story below.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.


Chicago police arrest boy, 14, in rape of teen girl that was streamed live on Facebook

14-year-old who streamed her suicide on Facebook suffered years of sexual and physical abuse

3 men arrested in Sweden after allegedly streaming a group rape on Facebook


According to a report Thursday by CNN’s Brian Stelter, ousted Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly will walk away from the network with a hefty severance package that is in the tens of millions. Stelter reported that two separate sources later indicated the grand total would be $25 million.

O’Reilly, who was the top-rated cable news personality, was pushed out of his job after 21 years on Wednesday amid a maelstrom of sexual harassment claims. Even after his fate was sealed at the network, O’Reilly continued to maintain his innocence, calling the accusations “completely unfounded.” The embattled host had recently signed a new contract with Fox News and stood to earn about $100 million over the next four years, according to the CNN report. The $25 million figure amounts to about one year of his salary because 21st Century Fox, the parent company of the network, had included language that provided certain outs in the event of a situation like this. Last summer, after Roger Ailes was ousted from Fox News amid a sexual harassment scandal, he walked away with a $40 million settlement from the network. At the time, Anita Hill, the subject of an infamous sexual harassment case in the 1990s, spoke out, saying Fox News should revoke that severance. Neither Fox News nor O’Reilly’s representatives would confirm the size of the payout.

Earlier this month, at the Women in the World New York Summit, former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, whose sexual harassment lawsuit set Ailes’ downfall in motion, spoke out about the culture inside Fox News that enabled people like Ailes and O’Reilly, and what women who are being harassed in the workplace should and shouldn’t do about it. Watch the full video of that appearance below.

Read the full story at CNN.


What to do if you’re a woman being sexually harassed at work — advice from Gretchen Carlson, someone who knows

Bill O’Reilly takes ‘vacation’ from his show as probe into sexual harassment claims begins

Ex-Fox News chief Roger Ailes faces yet another sexual harassment lawsuit

‘I can play, too’

In a modest move that nonetheless represented Major League Baseball’s most direct investment in girl’s baseball to date, the professional sports league teamed up with USA Baseball to sponsor the first-ever Trailblazer Series tournament, a girls’ youth baseball tournament that aims to encourage girls to pursue the traditionally male-dominated sport.

In 2015, the MLB and its players union pledged $30 million to initiatives intended to increase baseball and softball participation. The inaugural Trailblazer Series, which concluded on April 15, came as a part of those efforts — and also marked the first time the MLB had ever hosted a girls’ youth baseball tournament.

“I didn’t know girls played baseball,” said Ja’nae Wray, a 12-year-old from Douglasville, Georgia, who was one of 100 girls to travel to Compton for the tournament. Despite never having played organized baseball before, Wray had no problem slamming a three-run homerun over the center field wall in tournament play.

Wray said she intends to play both baseball and softball when she goes back home — if all goes as planned, she’ll be joining the all-girls travel baseball team of a fellow Georgian she met at the tournament.

“I didn’t know there were girls’ teams,” said Wray. “I didn’t know there was a USA Baseball team. Now I’m really interested in it. It showed me that a lot of other girls play baseball, and I can play too.”

Read the full story at The Huffington Post.


Pro baseball team signs 2 women — something not seen in half a century

Girl, 16, makes Major League Baseball history

Pro softball pitcher Monica Abbott inks record $1 million contract

‘I just coped’

Renowned Scottish journalist Kirsty Wark has made a new documentary for the BBC that explores the myriad effects of menopause — as well as possible treatments that can ease what might otherwise be painful, life-altering symptoms.

Wark said that the inspiration for The Menopause and Me, which debuts Thursday on BBC1, came after she underwent a “medical menopause” at age 47. After she had to undergo a hysterectomy and then chose to come off of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) due to its reported risk of causing breast cancer, Wark said she found herself enduring painful symptoms that would continue to haunt her for years.

“Suddenly, I had no estrogen and the disturbed sleep and night sweats started,” Wark recalled. “By the time I started making the documentary, nothing much had changed for me in 12 years and I just coped with it, as so many others do.”

Perhaps the worst part, she added, was the feeling that she had no-one to talk to about what she was going through.

“It’s not so long ago that the hormonal changes that came with menopause were regarded as madness – the madwomen in the attic,” said Wark. “Mythology has a lot to answer for.”

Today, things are much easier for women with menopause than they were even just 50 years ago, when women suffering hot flashes and hormone driven mood swings were often shunned and expected to bow out — gracefully or otherwise — from social life. In recent years, prominent women have been more open about undergoing menopause — speaking with People magazine, Gillian Anderson admitted that perimenopause, the hormonal transition that occurs prior to menopause, had made her feel powerless.

“All of a sudden, I felt I could handle nothing. I felt completely overwhelmed,” Anderson said. “When I talked to the specialist, she said she often gets phone calls from female CEOs screaming, ‘I need help now! I’m losing my mind!’ I felt like somebody else had taken over my brain.”

Given that many women will live a third of their lives after menopause — often in the prime of their careers — learning how best to treat and manage symptoms caused by it remains an important topic of research for doctors.

While not all women suffer from menopause to the same extent, Wark believes it’s important that workplaces and social circles alike be kinder to women undergoing the transition — and that women be as informed as possible about the treatments that already exist for their symptoms. See Wark discussing her documentary in the interview below.

Read the full story at The Guardian.


Even passive smoking hastens menopause, study finds

Judge slapped lawyer with $1,000 fine for menopause “joke”

Study: Most women with menopausal symptoms don’t seek treatment

‘Surprisingly little’

A recent study published in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility has found that otherwise healthy women who regularly took contraceptive pills experienced a negative dip in their mood, energy, and quality of life. Over the years, many women have come to rely on contraceptive pills to stymie the emotional rollercoaster and other unsavory symptoms that are part and parcel of being a woman. While the conclusions did not appear to indicate that regular users of the hormonal pill were at a greater risk for developing depression, the results still have many in the medical community worried.

The scientists at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden tested a large sampling of 340 women between the ages of 18 to 35 over the course of three months. Providing the participants with either placebos or birth control pills that contained ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel, the most common hormones found in contraceptive pills in Sweden and in many other countries. Those who took the combination pills reported feeling that they had an overall lower quality of life and well-being than those who received placebos.

“Despite the fact that an estimated 100 million women around the world use contraceptive pills we know surprisingly little today about the pill’s effect on women’s health” explained professor Angelica Lindén Hirschberg, one of the study’s contributing scientists from the Department of Women’s and Children’s health at the Karolinska Institutet. While the changes in the female participant’s emotions were relatively small, the findings could have future clinical importance.

Dr. Niklas Zethraeus, co-author of the study, pointed to the results as a possible reason why some women may subconsciously and conveniently “forget” to take their contraception regularly. “This might in some cases be a contributing cause of low compliance and irregular use of contraceptive pills,” Zethraeus explained. “This possible degradation of quality of life should be paid attention to and taken into account in conjunction with prescribing of contraceptive pills and when choosing a method of contraception.”

So, this all raises an important question: How’s work on that male birth control method going again?

Read the full story at Karolinska Institutet.


Scientist develops app that might replace the pill

Birth control pills found to significantly reduce women’s risk of endometrial cancer

Study suggests new birth control pills are more likely to cause blood clots than older versions

Close to home

A new study from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has found that nearly all cases of violence against women are perpetuated by a family member, partner, or spouse. According to the study, nearly 6,500 women and girls were hospitalized in Australia in 2013-14 as a result of assault — of the women who specified an attacker, 59 percent said that their injuries were caused by their spouse or domestic partner. While nearly a quarter of assault victims did not know or would not say who attacked them, parents and other family members accounted for nearly half of all other cases.

Men were more than twice as likely to be hospitalized for assault than women, according to the findings, and men were also much more likely to be attacked by “an acquaintance or somebody they don’t know,” explained professor James Harrison, an injury epidemiologist for AIHW. Women, by contrast, were assaulted by spouses and family members in a “distressingly high proportion of cases.”

Avoiding assault was nearly impossible for many women, Harrison added, noting that 69 percent of women who specified the location of their assault said that they were attacked in their own home. For women ages 15 years and older, the study found that eight percent of victims were pregnant when they were assaulted.

“If it’s your family member or spouse and it’s happening at home, where’s your refuge?” Harrison asked. “That’s what’s particularly distressing about this, I think.”

In January, a report from the Human Rights Commission found that 40 percent of homicides in Australia between 2010 and 2012 occurred in a domestic context, and that 60 percent of deaths were a result of intimate partner homicide.

Read the full story at The Guardian.


Heart-wrenching ad for domestic violence hotline goes viral

Proposal to include domestic violence as grounds for divorce rejected by Mississippi Senate

Putin signs amendment decriminalizing domestic violence in Russia