Oct 08
Her eye on the news
‘Milk and Honey’

Punjabi-Canadian writer Rupi Kaur is the world’s hottest young poet — and while her work can now be found in bookstores nationwide, it was first made available on Instagram.

Two years ago, Kaur, now 25, rocketed to fame after she posted an image of herself on Instagram in which menstrual period blood appeared to be leaking through her sweatpants. Instagram removed the post for allegedly violating “community guidelines,” prompting a scathing response from Kaur in which she denounced the platform for, among other things, stigmatizing menstruation and enabling the objectification of underage girls. As her post went viral across the platform, social media users began following her work, and it wasn’t long until Kaur was a full-fledged Instagram sensation.

On Instagram, one can find full images of Kaur’s poetry, as well as images of the poet herself with poetry included in the comments. Despite the widespread availability of her work on the platform, her fans were more than excited when she published her debut poetry collection, Milk and Honey — in fact, Milk and Honey is the best-selling adult book in the U.S. so far this year, according to Bookscan. In an article for The Cut, Molly Fischer had an extended interview with Kaur, in which the young poet revealed the unlikely story behind how she first published her runaway bestseller — as well as what it was like to become Instagram famous while she was still a student.

Kaur’s new collection, The Sun and Her Flowers, arrived in stores on October 3rd.

Read the full story at The Cut.


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The world famous National Mall in Washington D.C. could soon get a monumental addition int the form a statue of a 45-foot-tall naked woman. The organizers behind the “R-Evolution” sculpture” are currently raising funds to transport the mammoth from San Francisco to the nation’s capital, where it would be placed next to the Washington Monument, and facing the White House, until March 7. The statue is one of three giant nude female statues, and is intended to send a message about women’s equality and safety.

The eye-catching sculpture was created by artist Marco Cochrane as part of The Bliss Project.  “These sculptures are about expressing what it would be like if women were safe,” Cochrane said. “To me this sculpture answers that question … She’s absolutely fearless and accepting and being able to do that is a really powerful thing.”

The sculpture will be brought to D.C. by the organizers of the three-day event called “Catharsis on the Mall,” the theme of which this year is “Nurturing the Heart,” as Sanam Emami, a community organizer explained. “This year’s theme is in response to a lot of the social disconnect and politics going on in our community right now,” she said. “We felt that R-Evolution represented that. That’s why we’ve placed it in America’s front lawn.” So far, the organizers have raised more than $21,000 in four days, but they will need to raise $90,000 within 30 days in order to cover all the costs for shipping the sculpture across the country and assembling it.

Read the full story at USA Today.


55-foot statue of nude woman wins fans in California town


The financial services firm behind Wall Street’s famous ‘Fearless Girl’ statue has settled a discrimination claim for $5 million after 305 top female employees and 15 of its black vice president’s alleged that they were being paid less than their white male peers. State Street was not forced to admit guilt in the case, but did agree to pay $4.5 million in back pay and $500,000 in interest into a settlement fund.

State Street installed a statue of a defiant young girl facing down Wall Street’s iconic ‘Charging Bull’ the day before International Women’s Day as part of a campaign intended to draw attention to the lack of women on corporate boards. The statue sparked a powerful response, as young men on Wall Street were captured abusing the statue, while others condemned it for representing “corporate feminism.” But after an outpouring of public support, it was announced that the ‘Fearless Girl’ would remain in place until International Women’s Day next year.

With the news of State Street’s settlement, criticism of the statue erupted once more as social media users accused the financial firm of hypocrisy.

Read the full story at The New York Times.


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A day after thousands of Polish woman took to the streets to protest the country’s restrictive abortion laws, police staged raids on women’s groups that had participated in the anti-government demonstration. The recent protest had come on the first anniversary of the famous “Black Monday” march that helped defeat a proposed total ban of abortion in the country that would have allowed women who underwent abortions, and the doctors who performed them, to be jailed for up to five years.

Tuesday’s protests were organized to condemn abortion laws that make abortion illegal in almost all cases, as well as new regulations that require women to get a doctor’s prescription in order to buy the morning-after pill. Prosecutors claimed that it was only a coincidence that two groups involved in the march, the Women’s Rights Center and Baba, were raided a day after the demonstrations. Both groups, which work with victims of domestic abuse, were told that they were looking for evidence into suspected wrongdoing by the former government.

“We are afraid that this is just a pretext or warning signal to not engage in activities not in line with the ruling party,” said the Women’s Rights Center in a statement.

Baba leader Anita Kucharska-Dziedzic said that police had confiscated numerous files from their offices, including some which contained private information on domestic abuse victims. The loss of the files, she said, was directly inhibiting the group’s ongoing work.

“This is an abuse of power,” said Marta Lempart, the head of the Polish Women’s Strike, which organized the protests. “Even if there is any suspicion of wrongdoing, an inquiry could be done in a way that doesn’t affect the organisations’ work.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.


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‘Oh, my God’

Marilou Danley, the girlfriend of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock, has reportedly told investigators that he “would lie in bed, just moaning and screaming, ‘Oh, my God,’” according to former FBI officials who were briefed on the matter. NBC News reported that investigators believe that Paddock suffered from mental illness or physical pain, but that deterioration of his mental health did not appear to be the catalyst behind a deadly shooting spree that killed 59 people and injured more than 500. State and federal officials did confirm that Paddock had been prescribed anti-anxiety medication Valium.

Danley, 62, a Philippines native with Australian citizenship, was seen in footage being removed from a flight to Manila out of Los Angeles Airport after FBI agents declared her a person of interest in the case. Danley’s sisters had said that Paddock had bought her the ticket to the Philippines, and that she had no idea about his plan to attack the music festival.

Paddock is believed to have investigated other possible targets for his attack in Boston and Chicago, where thousands, including former first daughter Malia obama, attended Lollapalooza in early August.

Read the full story at NBC News.


Marilou Danley, girlfriend of Las Vegas gunman, tells FBI she had no idea of massacre plans

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