Dec 06
Her eye on the news
‘I was shocked’

The woman who accused NFL linebacker Reuben Foster of domestic violence last month after he allegedly slapped her so hard it left her with a mild concussion has spoken out about the Washington Redskins’ decision to pick up the star athlete just 72 hours after his former team, the San Francisco 49ers, released him as punishment for his behavior. Elissa Ennis, a former girlfriend of Foster’s who had previously accused him of domestic violence earlier this year only to later recant her charges in court, told Good Morning America that the Redskins’ apparent indifference to Foster’s behavior left her “shocked” and in disbelief.

“When he got signed, I was like, ‘I can’t believe somebody picked him up,’” said Ennis. “I just couldn’t believe somebody picked him up in less than, how many hours? I was shocked.”

According to Ennis, she and Foster had taken a break from their relationship and had begun seeing therapists after three prior incidents of alleged abuse — including the one she later recanted in court — drove them apart. The latest incident, she said, occurred after Foster flew her out to Florida to work on their relationship and she threatened, during an argument, “to tell his new girlfriend that he had paid for my flight out there.” Foster, she said, retaliated by slapping her across the face, pushed her in the chest, and smacking the phone from her hand. In her interview with GMA, Ennis further alleged that 49ers personnel had interfered with police when she previously accused Foster of domestic abuse in February.

“I have pictures of the 49ers coming up there trying to talk to the police, telling them I’m the same ex-girlfriend that [previously] lied,” she said.

Asked why she later recanted the charge against the linebacker, Ennis’s voice began to grow emotional.

“Reuben threw my clothes out the balcony, my stuff out the house, he dragged me down the stairs, punched me in my face, two or three times, pulled me by my hair, kicked me, spit on me,” she recalled. She later pretended she had lied about what happened, she said, because “I loved him.”

“Love will have you doing things that’s not in your best interest, because it’s the person you love,” she explained, her voice trembling. “I thought that he would change. Anybody in my position would have done the same thing if they shared a family with this person. He used to come crying to me telling me he didn’t have anybody.”

When asked whether she still loved him, Ennis hesitated.

“I’ve been getting help,” she said, shaking her head. “This is not love.”

Watch Ennis’ interview with GMA below.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.


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Comedian Hannah Gadsby silenced the crowd at The Hollywood Reporter’s 2018 Women in Entertainment Gala on Wednesday after she called out the industry’s so-called “good men” for lecturing audiences on the misogyny of “bad men” — all while surreptitiously sweeping their own problematic behavior, and that of their friends and allies, underneath the rug. Gadsby’s speech, which has since taken off and prompted heated discussion on social media, criticized the “Jimmys” — a token term she used to denote “good men” late night TV hosts — for trying to seperate the behavior of men accused of misconduct into two categories.

“There’s the Weinstein/Bill Cosby types who are so utterly horrible that they might as well be different species to the Jimmys, and then there are the FOJs: the Friends of Jimmy,” the outspoken Australian comedian declared. “These are apparently good men who misread the rules — garden-variety consent dyslexics. They have the rule book, but they just skimmed it. ‘Oh, that a semicolon? My bad. I thought that meant anal.’”

“The last thing I need right now in this moment in history is to have to listen to men monologue about misogyny and how other men should just stop being ‘creepy,’ as if that’s the problem … Rejecting the humanity of a woman is not creepiness; it is misogyny,” she continued. “We need to talk about how men will draw a different line for every different occasion. They have a line for the locker room; a line for when their wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters are watching; another line for when they’re drunk and fratting; another line for nondisclosure; a line for friends; and a line for foes.”

That kind of thinking, she argued, is a problem — especially since it boiled down to men conveniently adapting their own definition of misogyny so that their own behavior was deemed excusable, both by society and themselves.

“Guess what? All men believe they are good,” she observed. “We need to talk about this because guess what happens when only good men get to draw that line? This world — a world full of good men who do very bad things and still believe in their heart of hearts that they are good men because they have not crossed the line, because they move the line for their own good. Women should be in control of that line, no question.”

Watch Gadsby’s full speech below.

Read the full story at Vulture.


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‘Morality clause’

A teacher was fired last week by a Catholic high school in Pennsylvania after administrators told her that her planned pregnancy with her partner violated the school’s “morality clause” since the pair had no intention of getting married in the near future. Naiad Reich, a respected English and creative writing at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School in Coal Township, said she had timed her pregnancy with Matt Graboski so she could give birth in June and avoid having to take maternity leave. But when she informed the school’s principal and administrator, Sister Mary Anne Bednar, of her plans, she said she was surprised to be met with open hostility.

“Her response, honestly, is one that will sit with me for a very long time, because she was very displeased,” she told PennLive. “She said it would be a problem and she had to contact the diocese.”

Roman Catholic Harrisburg Diocese officials agreed with Sister Bednar. Unless Reich and Graboski told them they planned on getting married, they said, she would have to be fired.

“I could have sat in that meeting and said, ‘Sure, I’ll get married,’” she recalled in an interview with The Daily Item. “I could have saved my job. But I was honest with them. I wasn’t going to lie.”

An online petition has since circulated in an attempt to reinstate Reich to her teaching job, arguing that it was unfair and unreasonable of the school to let go of “an amazing teacher … due to her being pregnant and unmarried.” In a statement, diocese officials said that they were “unable to comment on personal matters,” but that all of their employees were required “to follow the teachings, doctrine, and laws of the Catholic Church” irrespective of their personal beliefs.

Watch video coverage of the story below.

Read the full story at Yahoo News.


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‘Success story’

The story of Lauren Simmons, the New York Stock Exchange’s youngest ever full-time female trader, is set to be told before a national audience after the 24-year-old agreed to deal to adapt her life into a film for production company AGC Studios. Simmons, who is just the second African-American woman to serve as full time trader on the NYSE floor, was also the only woman working as a NYSE trader when she passed the Series 19 exam to become a broker in 2017. The Rosenblatt Securities employee said that she began being approached by production studios seeking to adapt her remarkable story over the summer. She decided on AGC after meeting with Kiersey Clemons, the actress set to play her in the upcoming film.

“I ultimately decided [on] AGC because of Kiersey,” said Simmons. “I got to meet Kiersey and felt she resembled me a lot. She has such a beautiful personality and she genuinely wanted to share my story. Out of everyone that I met, I knew that she would do it very [honestly], and not make it into a story that isn’t true.”

Simmons, who is listed on the project as both a producer and as a consultant, added that she plans on personally ensuring that the film’s story remains true to her own experience — and those of the women traders who came before her.

“I’ll be very hands-on with the project,” she said. “Muriel Siebert was the first woman on the floor. I’ve made that clear, that I’m not the first.”

The young trader is also hopeful that more women will follow in their footsteps. In recent days, she noted, another woman had signed up as a full-time trader — increasing the number of women on the NYSE floor from one to two.

“If my story motivates other young women, and women of color, then I’m absolutely honored. I want my story to do that,” she declared. “I want there to be more success stories. I want to hear more women doing more things, especially being bold in male-dominated fields.”

Watch an interview with Simmons below.

Read the full story at CNBC.


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‘A real problem’

A new large-scale survey targeting respondents across the U.S. and 12 European countries has found that men vastly underestimate the prevalence of sexual harassment faced by women — and that women, to a slightly lesser extent, do so as well.

Pollster Ipsos Mori’s Perils of Perception survey, which is aimed at identifying the gaps between public perception and statistical reality, found that men almost without exception underestimated the number of women who had experienced sexual harassment in their country by at least 20 percentage points. In Denmark, the Netherlands, and France, where the biggest gaps between reality and perception were found, men guessed the percentage of women who had experienced harassment by age 15 at 31 percent, 38 percent, and 41 percent respectively. Unfortunately, they would have been better off doubling their numbers. According to previous studies, 80 percent of Danish women, 73 percent of Dutch women, and 75 percent of French women said they had experienced harassment.

The Ipsos Mori survey, which was carried out in the wake of the #MeToo campaign and just weeks after Christine Blasey Ford testified against then Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, also found a dramatic gap in the U.S., where men underestimated the prevalence of harassment by 37 whole percentage points.

“That this survey comes a year after #MeToo, suggests that we have a real problem believing women and taking them seriously,” said Everyday Sexism Project founder Laura Bates in response to the study. “That so many women have been brave enough to tell stories with devastating personal consequences to hear that they are still not being believed is very difficult to cope with. We need a critical mass of men to stand up and get involved to tackle this problem and become part of the solution.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.


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Medical marvel

A woman has successfully given birth after receiving a uterus transplant from a deceased donor, a first that researchers said could potentially widely expand availability of such procedures if proven reliable.

According to a report published in the Lancet, doctors at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil removed the uterus from a 45-year-old woman who died from a brain hemorrhage and transplanted into a 32-year-old woman who suffered from Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome, a disorder that left her without a uterus. Seven months later, the woman successfully became pregnant via in-vitro fertilization and gave birth via C-section on December 15, 2017.

Since 2014, when doctors first managed to help a woman give birth via a transplanted uterus, about a dozen babies have been born through the procedure worldwide. In all previous successful cases, however, the uteruses came from living women. In order to be a donor, those women had to undergo a radical hysterectomy — a complicated surgery of at least four to six hours that comes with a margin of risk of complications. Such transplants are known as “ephemeral” because the transplanted uterus is removed from the recipients after they give birth to children.

“The use of deceased donors could greatly broaden access to this treatment,” said lead researcher on the trial, Dr. Dani Ejzenberg. “The numbers of people willing and committed to donate organs upon their own deaths are far larger than those of live donors, offering a much wider potential donor population.”

Read the full story at STAT.


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