Aug 09
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A recent study found that the gender pay gap, which feminists are working so hard to mitigate and eventually equalize, starts way before people begin earning a salary in the real world. The pay gap can be traced all the way to childhood, when parents, compensating their children for household chores with an allowance, on average pay their boys more than girls. It’s a phenomenon that has actually set the table for the income disparity to flourish in the real world. Also, as a report in The New York Times points out, girls spend more time doing chores than boys do.

According to a recent data analysis by BusyKid, a mobile phone app that allows children to track their allowance and income and helps them save and budget their money, the parents of the children using the app on average pay boys more than double what they pay girls in allowance money. BusyKid found that boys’ average weekly allowance is $13.80 compared to girls’, which is $6.71.

The latest data from Pew Research, examined in 2017, showed the national gender pay gap is gradually shrinking, but women are still only earning 82 percent of what men earn for equal work on an hourly basis. It’s important to note that BusyKid provided no details on the methodology used to determine these figures, or whether the data analysts corrected for variables in differences between what older children earn versus what younger children make. But still, the figures are rather jarring.

The data analysis showed boys also out-earn girls when it comes to bonuses, though that margin is much slimmer. Boys using the BusyKid app take home an average bonus of $17.01, while girls bonuses average $15.54.

As The New York Times points out, these pay disparities and the inequities in the amount of time boys and girls spend doing chores — and the types of chores they are assigned — set the stage for what happens when they grow up and enter the working world. Another analysis found that male teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 spend an average of 30 minutes a performing chores. Females in the same age group spend an average of 45 minutes daily on chores. And girls, the Times notes are, often saddled with chores that later in life fall into the unpaid work category, such as house cleaning, which in adulthood impact the devotion a woman can make to her job. Boys are often paid for doing chores that they should likely be doing anyway — things like maintaining personal hygiene, the BusyKid analysis revealed.

But the news isn’t all bad. Girls are spending less time doing chores than they were spending a decade ago. And there are other signs that boys and girls are beginning to pick up the responsibility of family care more equally than they have in the past.

Read the full story at The New York Times.


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Mean girl?

Actress Lindsay Lohan has spoken out against the #MeToo movement, claiming that women are coming forward about past incidents of sexual assault “for the attention” and that “it makes them look weak.”

“Everyone goes through their own experiences in their own ways. If it happens at that moment, you discuss it at that moment,” she told The Times of London. “You make it a real thing by making it a police report.”

“I’m going to really hate myself for saying this,” Lohan continued, “but I think by women speaking against all these things, it makes them look weak when they are very strong women. You have these girls who come out, who don’t even know who they are, who do it for the attention. That is taking away from the fact that it happened,” the Mean Girls star continued.

Lohan’s last public comments on the #MeToo movement also resulted in controversy after she defended disgraced media mogul Harvey Weinstein and denounced his then-wife Georgina Chapman for not “[taking] a stand and [being] there for her husband.” Weinstein is currently facing sex crimes charges in New York and has been accused of sexual misconduct or rape by more than 80 women. He has pleaded not guilty and denied all accusations of nonconsensual sex.

Nonetheless, the actress says her comments shouldn’t be construed to mean she isn’t “supportive of women,” but said she believes women should speak out immediately if they face assault. Lohan offered her own actions as an example saying she had done as much after she was allegedly struck by her ex-boyfriend, Egor Tarabasov.

“I can’t speak on something I don’t live, right? … I had a fight with my ex on this very beach. What did I do? Nothing. I just took over the beach,” Lohan quipped, referring to the fact that she recently opened a beach club on the very spot where the alleged assault occurred. “The best revenge is success, right?”

Read the full story at The New York Post.


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New Zealand Green party co-leader Marama Davidson is facing criticism after she repeatedly used the word “cunt” at an anti-racism rally in what she said was an attempt to reclaim the word for women. Explaining that the word had been used in death threats against her, as well as to abuse other women, Davidson said that she felt if women unapologetically co-opted the term for themselves, the word’s emotional power would be blunted. “Cunts are powerful,” Davidson told supporters at the rally, eliciting a round of cheers. “Vaginas brought you all here. Call me that. I take it. I’m here for being a cunt!” she continued, drawing another round of applause.

But New Zealand politicians nonetheless condemned her use of the word, decrying it as inappropriate especially given that there had been families with children present at the rally.

Paula Bennett, the opposition National party’s spokesperson for women, characterized Davidson’s speech as “disgusting” and said that her desire to “reclaim the word” was “no excuse for bad manners.” Deputy prime minister Winston Peters similarly described the Green party politician’s language as “appalling” and “degrading” while Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said simply that she would not personally endorse usage of the term.

Davidson has defended her attempt at reclaiming the ‘C-word,’ telling Newshub that she would continue to “stand by using that word.”

“That word is a powerful word for women and shouldn’t be used as abuse,” she declared. “I think it’s a word that we have to disarm and reclaim. Reclaiming means turning a negative slur into a positive word, like the LGBTQ community did with the word ‘queer’ in the 1980s and 1990s.”

According to research from the Broadcasting Standards Authority, the “C-word” is considered the “most offensive term” in New Zealand — even more so than the “N-word,” according to Newshub. But over the past five years, the group noted, the number of people who consider the word unacceptable in all scenarios has dropped from 72 percent to 63 percent. Below, watch video of Davidson’s remarks.

Read the full story at The Guardian.


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Former Stanford University swimmer and convicted sex offender Brock Turner has lost an appeal for a new trial despite controversial arguments from his lawyer that Turner shouldn’t have been convicted for attempted rape because he had only wanted “outercourse” with his victim. In a hearing at the 6th District Court of Appeal in San Jose on Wednesday, a three-judge panel ruled that there was “substantial evidence” that Turner received a fair trial. In a unanimous decision, Judge Franklin Elia noted that Turner had attempted to run after two graduate students caught him assaulting a then-22-year-old woman who appeared unconscious behind a dumpster.

“He did not explain or defend himself to them,” the judge wrote. “And he lied to police about running.”

Turner’s initial trial gained national notoriety after his lawyers tried to blame his behavior on “party culture” and his victim, in a powerful court statement that went viral after it was shared online, accused him of refusing to take accountability for his actions. Outrage over the case was exacerbated after Judge Aaron Persky sentenced Turner to just six months in jail — of which he only served three. In the wake of the controversy over the lenient sentence, Persky was subsequently recalled by California voters — becoming the first California judge in 80 years to face recall.

Following the rejection of his appeal, Turner will be required to register as a sex offender for life unless he attempts to petition his case before the California Supreme Court. Turner’s lawyer has yet to comment on whether they plan to do so.

Read the full story at The Associated Press.


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Margot Kidder’s death has been ruled a suicide, her daughter told The Associated Press on Wednesday. Kidder, the actress who brought Lois Lane to life in the Superman movie franchise, died on May 13, leaving her legions of fans shocked and saddened. She was 69. At the time, her manager reported that Kidder passed away peacefully in her sleep at her Montana home.

That was not the case, according to the coroner’s report. Richard Wood, the Park County coroner,  said in a statement released to the AP that Kidder “died as a result of a self-inflicted drug and alcohol overdose.” No other details were disclosed, but Kidder’s daughter, Maggie McGuane confirmed suicide was the cause of death. She said when authorities brought her to her mother’s home in Livingston, Montana, which is near Yellowstone National Park, she knew immediately what caused her mother’s demise.

“It’s a big relief that the truth is out there,” McGuane told the AP. “It’s important to be open and honest so there’s not a cloud of shame in dealing with this.”

Kidder’s body was discovered by her friend, Joan Kesich, who said that Kidder was true to herself in her final days and that the actress was always very open and forward about dealing with her demons. Kidder had struggled with bipolar disorder and was briefly homeless in the 1990s.

“In her last months, she was herself,” Kesich said. “Same kind of love, same kind of energy. The challenges that she had were very public. I want what I know about her to be out there because it was glorious. She was really a blazing energy.”

With Kidder’s death being ruled a suicide, she is the first of three recent high-profile people who have tragically taken their own lives. Less than a month after Kidder’s death, fashion icon Kate Spade was found dead after she hanged herself in her New York City apartment. She was 55. Her husband said that she’d long struggled with depression and anxiety. A few days later, celebrity chef and TV show host Anthony Bourdain, 61, claimed his own life while on location in France shooting Parts Unknown.

McGuane, Kidder’s daughter alluded to the shame that goes along with suicide and the difficulty families of those who commit suicide experience in grieving their deaths.  “It’s a very unique sort of grief and pain. Knowing how many families in this state go through this, I wish that I could reach out to each one of them,” McGuane remarked to the AP.

At the time of Kidder’s death, fans flooded social media with memories of the actress, who starred in many other movies, but was best known for her role as the tireless reporter Lois Lane in the Superman films. Below, watch an iconic scene from one of those movies.

Read the full story at The Associated Press.

If you or anyone you know needs help, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)


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Vigilante journalism

An intrepid Iranian photojournalist is being hailed on social media after she cleverly managed to circumvent the country’s ban on allowing women into men’s soccer matches by photographing the game from the roof of a nearby building. According to The Indian Express, Parisa Pourtaherian successfully covered a top league tournament match for her photo agency by perching on a rooftop and taking advantage of a gigantic telephoto lens to capture the game that was taking place inside Vatani Stadium in Qaemshahr. Images of the photojournalist swiftly went viral on social media in wake of the report, as users in Iran and worldwide hailed her for her determination and ingenuity — and renewed calls for an end to the sexist practice of forbidding women from attending men’s sports events.

In June, women in Iran were allowed to enter Tehran’s Azadi Stadium for the first time in 37 years so that they could watch a televised broadcast of their national team’s matchup with Spain in the World Cup alongside male fans. Despite the ban, many Iranian women have braved the risk of arrest to sneak into games by disguising themselves as men.

Pourtaherian, who graduated from the University of Tehran with a degree in industrial design, according to her Instagram account, is reportedly affiliated with Iranian youth soccer club KIA F.C. Academy and the IR Iran Volleyball federation. In a self-description that is perhaps indicative of a vigilante attitude, her Instagram profile recommends that one “always be yourself unless you can be Batman — then always BE BATMAN!”

Read the full story at The Quint.


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Feminist wave

Despite a wave of protests that reportedly saw more than one million women gathered outside of Argentina’s Congress on Wednesday to show support for abortion rights, on Thursday the country’s Senate narrowly rejected a bill that would have legalized the procedure before 14 weeks of pregnancy. Thirty-eight lawmakers voted against the bill, 31 in favor of it, and two abstained after the Catholic Church put heavy pressure on lawmakers in conservative districts to oppose it. But even while Pope Francis, an Argentine native, likened abortion to Nazi-era eugenics in comments calling on politicians to reject the measure, activists and legislators had clung to hope after the lower house of Congress narrowly approved the bill to legalize abortion in June and President Mauricio Macri, a center-right politician who is personally opposed to abortion, pledged that he would sign the law if it passed the Senate.

According to Macri’s health minister, Adolfo Rubinstein, who came forward in favor of legalization, an estimated 354,000 clandestine abortions are performed every year in Argentina — causing thousands of maternal deaths. The once-unlikely push for legalization came following protests over violence against women — known popularly as the “Ni una Menos” movement — which evolved into a larger grassroots movement that saw women donning green handkerchiefs to signal their support for abortion after the horrific murder of a pregnant 14-year-old girl by her teenage boyfriend in 2015. The case of Ana María Acevedo, a 19-year-old mother of three children who was refused cancer treatment because she was two weeks pregnant but was barred from receiving an abortion had also become a rallying cry for activists. Acevedo gave birth to a baby by C-section after six months, but the baby died after just a day. Acevedo died two weeks later.

Legislator Victoria Donda, one of the more high-profile champions of the abortion legalization effort, was the daughter of one of 30,000 people who were kidnapped and “disappeared” by Aregntinian security forces during a dictatorship that lasted between 1976 and 1983. Pregnant women who were “disappeared” were kept alive until they gave birth, after which they were murdered and their children given to military families to raise. Donda, who was raised by one such military family, only learned the identity of her biological parents in 2003.

“Legalization in Argentina would have a profound effect on the rest of Latin America, where it remains banned in all the other major countries,” Donda told The Guardian, noting that abortion is legal in only a handful of jurisdictions in the region. But despite the failure of the measure, she and other activists remained optimistic about the progress they had made.

“Society as a whole has moved forward on this issue,” said Claudia Piñeiro, an Argentine writer and abortion-rights activist. “Church and state are supposed to be separate, but we’re coming to realize that is far from the case. That will be the next battle.”

Below, watch  a pair of videos of Argentinian women who came out to support abortion rights and say they are holding out hope that an abortion law will materialize sometime in the near future. One group of mostly young women who were on the scene, in a show of what may be to come, chanted, “Beware, beware chauvinists, beware! All Latin America will be feminist!” The second video explores the divisive issue and the country’s people grappling with what is seen as a polarizing moral dilemma.

Read the full story at The New York Times and The Guardian.


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Yara Shahidi, the 18-year-old star who earned a feature role as Zoey Johnson on Black-ish at 14 and now features in its spinoff, Grown-ish, is leading a push to involve and engage her generation in politics during her scant free time.

In order to fit in time for filming for the second season of Grown-ish, Shahidi, who is set to begin her freshman year at Harvard this fall, says that she’ll have to complete at least some of her college coursework online. But she also wants to fit in time “to have as much of a college experience as possible” as she pursues a degree in sociology and African-American studies — courses that she says will prepare her for a career that is “policy adjacent.” Already, Shahidi is leading an initiative, Eighteen x 18, to inform teenagers about politics and register them to vote ahead of the upcoming midterms.

“My passion really stemmed from having gone through the 2016 election, where myself and many of my peers were unable to vote,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. While her distaste for Trump is no secret, she says her focus is on giving her peers the information they need to make informed decisions.

“Part of it,” she added, “is [being] a young black girl with the last name Shahidi who has relatives in Iran.”

Shahidi has already made a big impact on some of the biggest names in politics — Michelle Obama wrote her a college letter of recommendation, and she’s appeared at events for politicians such as Hillary Clinton, and senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker.

“If Yara wants to be president one day,” says her Eighteen x 18 partner Michael Skolnik decisively, ”she will be.”

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter’s Lacey Rose, Shahidi also spoke about her plan to launch a politically-minded podcast with the Pod Save America team — as well as how her unique family has helped shape her worldview and career.

Two years ago, Shahidi appeared on a panel at the Women in the World New York Summit for a discussion about how race is being addressed in the rapidly changing TV landscape. At the time, Shahidi compared her role to the Holden Caulfield character from J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. “I get to play the voice for Generation Z,” she said, elaborating on the creative process behind her character and how she was able to give the character a new dimension. Watch that full video below.

Read the full story at The Hollywood Reporter.


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