Oct 11
Her eye on the news

Amid the flurry of sexual misconduct allegations made against Harvey Weinstein, many Hollywood celebrities who have been silent on the open secret about his mistreatment of women have been speaking up to denounce the fallen movie mogul. One of the celebrities who finally spoke out on Tuesday was Ben Affleck, whose career Weinstein was instrumental in launching when Miramax produced Good Will Hunting in the late 1990s. But after posting his denunciation on Twitter, fans accused the actor of groping actress Hilarie Burton during an appearance on MTV’s TRL in 2003. “He also grabbed Hilarie Burton’s breasts on TRL once. Everyone forgot though,” one social media user wrote on Twitter, to which Burton replied, “I didn’t forget.”

In another tweet, Burton added, “I was a kid” when it happened.

Social media users posted videos showing the incident, in which Affleck made contact with her breast and videos of Burton talking about it after the fact. Meanwhile, Rose McGowan, who had settled with Weinstein years ago over sexual harassment allegations, criticized Affleck for knowing about Weinstein’s treatment of her and never speaking up about it and then lying about it. McGowan and Affleck co-starred in the 1997 movie Going All the Way and the 1998 movie Phantoms.

Later on Wednesday, Affleck posted an apology to Burton on Twitter, saying, “I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize.”

The New York Times reached out to Affleck for a comment on McGowan’s accusation, but he did not reply.

Read the full story at Fox News.


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Not yet

A woman who was filmed driving a car has been penalized by police in Saudi Arabia, less than a month after the kingdom announced that women would be allowed to obtain a driver’s license by June 2018. The woman was reportedly summoned by authorities after she appeared in a video driving out of a Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh.

In response to the news, a police spokesperson called “on all Saudi citizens to respect the law and wait until the ban on women driving formally ends.” The spokesperson added that the woman had been penalized but not formally arrested, and that the owner of the car would also face penalties for violating traffic rules.

News of the driving ban being lifted has been hailed by women’s rights activists worldwide, including by Saudi activist Sahar Nassif, who was jailed and ultimately forced to flee the country after being targeted by police under the ban.

Read the full story at The Guardian.


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Georgina Chapman, the wife of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is reportedly planning to divorce him after numerous reports made public that he had allegedly raped and sexually harassed numerous models and actresses who worked with him. Weinstein, 65, who had previously claimed that Chapman “stands 100 percent behind me,” has said that he intends to undergo a sex rehab program in Europe, according to TMZ.

Though much of Hollywood, and political heavyweights like the Obamas and Hillary Clinton, have publicly denounced Weinstein, he had at least one defender. Actress Lindsay Lohan said in a since-deleted Instagram video that she felt “very bad for Harvey Weinstein” and that Chapman should “take a stand and be there for her husband.” Even after the widespread publication of Weinstein’s behavior, which had reportedly been an “open secret” in Hollywood for years, the producer has suggested that he hopes to return from Europe with “fresh, new ideas.” Hard to believe anyone in Tinseltown is holding their breath for his return.

Read the full story at The Daily Beast, Variety, and The Mercury News.


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Horrific footage of rebels forcing a woman to commit incest before hacking her to death with machetes has emerged out of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The rebels have been identified as part of the Kamuina Nsapu movement, a group that dispersed and began attacking government targets across the Kasaï region following the death of their local tribal chief Kamuina Nsapu, who was killed by the Congolese army in August in 2016.

In the video, which was filmed on April 8, 2017, a naked woman can be seen being shoved in front of an armed group of Kamuina Nsapu rebels in Luebo, a town of 40,000 that the group controlled briefly before being ousted by the Congolese army. The rebel “grand chief,” Kalamba Kambangoma, tells the crowd that the woman “must die” for committing high treason, before passing the victim to a woman wearing the pink of the Kamuina Nsapu movement. The woman in pink brought the victim to a platform, where the victim was forced to have sex with her husband’s second wife’s son in front of the crowd. Afterward, the woman and son were hacked to death with machetes, and several witnesses told FRANCE 24 that some rebels consumed their blood.

A resident of Luebo told FRANCE 24 that the woman had been “accused of serving fish” to the rebels, who practice protection rituals that demand they refrain from eating fish and other specified foods during periods of fighting.

Speaking with FRANCE 24, another longtime Luebo resident gave a firsthand account of the execution, the Congolese military’s battle to retake control of the town, and how locals were responding after the trauma of the occupation and having being made to witness the execution.

Read the full story at FRANCE 24.


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DNA tests on the baby of a 10-year-old Indian girl who investigators say was raped by her uncle have implicated another uncle as the baby’s father, according to Chandigarh police. The girl, who gave birth by caesarean-section in August after being refused an abortion by India’s supreme court, had initially told police that she had been raped by her uncle multiple times. But after DNA testing of the girl’s baby, the 41-year-old younger brother of that uncle was revealed as the baby’s father. Both men had reportedly taken turns raping the girl, who was the daughter of their cousin. The second uncle, a cook by profession, was said to have confessed to the crime after being caught by police while attempting to flee to Nepal. After being asked about the second uncle, the girl testified that he had raped her as well.

The girl was reportedly left unaware that she has pregnant, and was instead told that she had a stone in her stomach that had to be removed. The girl’s parents say that she remains unaware that she gave birth, and that her child has been given up for adoption.

Read the full story at The International Business Times.


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Tangled web

High-powered feminist attorney Lisa Bloom raised eyebrows when it was revealed she was working with Harvey Weinstein as an adviser amid the tsunami of of sexual misconduct allegations that erupted last week. Bloom, who earlier this year was successful in taking down Bill O’Reilly amid a torrent of sexual harassment allegations, seemed an odd fit for Weinstein given the type of work she’s devoted her legal career to. There was deal Weinstein’s company made to adapt her book about Trayvon Martin into a movie, but also, as a new report in Variety claims, Weinstein intentionally kept her in the dark about what she was signing up for.

According to an anonymous source Variety spoke with, Bloom was “totally lied to” about the full scope of the allegations that were about to emerge when she agreed to work with Weinstein. The source said Bloom had no idea about rape and sexual assault allegations, and believed that the accusations amounted to a mix of sexually offensive remarks and inappropriate fulminations directed at colleagues. Variety reached out to Bloom’s law firm, but it declined comment on the grounds of attorney-client privilege. Weinstein is reportedly replacing the high-powered Bloom with another super lawyer: Los Angeles-based litigator Patty Glaser. Glaser, who’s know by the nickname “Ms. Glacier,” will be taking on the board of The Weinstein Company, which fired the movie mogul, and not defending him against the slew of allegations against him.

The Variety report also went on to detail how an infamous email prankster managed to trick Bloom into thinking she was engaging in an email exchange with Weinstein after she stepped down as his adviser over the weekend, and what she said in those emails she thought she was sending to the real Harvey Weinstein.

Read the full story at Variety.


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Social Issues

Sham Hinchey and Marzia Messina, beside being creative partners, are also the parents of a 10-year-old daughter, Penelope, who inspired them for their latest project, Dear Daughters. “Through her we have seen how children of this age start asking questions regarding social issues and it is interesting to watch them process news, trying to rationalize and decipher events which in their minds are absurd or unjust,” Messina told HuffPost. That’s why the Brooklyn-based artists had 22 men come in to their studio to have their portraits taken with their daughters (all between 8 and 11 years of age) while sitting down and engaging in some real talk about feminism.


They used a self-created board game, featuring cards with questions like “name a woman you admire” to facilitate a conversation between the father-daughter couples. They said that they noticed that for some of them, it was the first time they actually touched on these issues. “Asking men to take time with their daughters can help to open up their eyes on an issue which is very close to them,” Hinchey explained. “Male chauvinism and feminism are not abstract concepts, they are issues that are most likely already at their doorstep and will most certainly be a part of their daughter’s life in the future. If we question, empathize, listen and educate ourselves first and foremost then it will push us to focus on the problems and responsibilities, making it easier to pass down this awareness to our children through dialogue and practice.” The artists said they were hoping to expand their project across the United States and eventually publish a book with their photos and conversations.

Read the full story at HuffPost.


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Arvida Byström, a Swedish model, artist and photographer recently appeared in an ad for Adidas Originals’ Superstar shoes, with photos that show off her unshaved legs. In a video of the photoshoot, she can be seen saying, “I think femininity is usually created from our culture so I think everybody can do feminine things, can be feminine. I feel like in today’s society we are very scared of that.” What she did not expect was the extreme backlash that followed, including rape threats from strangers on the internet. “Me being such an abled, white, cis body with its only nonconforming feature being a lil leg hair. Literally I’ve been getting rape threats in my DM inbox,” she wrote on Instagram. “I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to not possess all these privileges and try to exist in the world. Sending love and try to remember that not everybody has the same experiences being a person.” The video has received similar disturbing comments, with one commenter referring to her as a “feminazi.” Other users were more friendly, praising her for showing her natural body and challenging traditional notions of femininity. The 26-year-old is no stranger to promoting body positivity. She regularly shares photos of her body hair or cellulite, and curated a book with photos that had been censored by Instagram, mostly of female body parts.

Read the full story at The Guardian.


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