Two women who anonymously accused former congressman Ruben Kihuen of sexual harassment last year have reportedly had their identities exposed on a website supporting Kihuen’s new campaign for a seat on the Las Vegas city council.
Kihuen was forced to step down from his seat in congress last year after a House Ethics Committee investigation concluded that he had made “persistent and unwanted” advances towards three women. And now his attempt to return to local politics in Las Vegas has been thrown into turmoil by what appears to be a disturbing attempt to attack the credibility of his three accusers through a website. The website, which contains numerous inaccuracies, includes names and photographs of three women who it claimed accused Kihuen of sexual harassment.
“I cannot possibly understand how anyone has enough evil in their heart to publicly out harassment victims and push a smear campaign against them,” said Kihuen’s former campaign staffer Samantha Register, the first woman to accuse the politician of harassment. “I’ve been willing to share my story on the record using my full name, but the other two women weren’t and it’s disgusting that anyone would publish their identity without their consent. We’re not celebrities. We’re private citizens trying to move on with our lives, which is increasingly difficult when Mr. Kihuen and his allies continue to publicly attack us.”
“If Mr. Kihuen and his allies are trying to intimidate me into silence they’re wasting their time. It’s not going to work.”
Register initially told Buzzfeed that Kihuen had repeatedly propositioned her for sex and touched her thighs against her will. In January, she chose to publicly come forward, writing in an article for The Nevada Independent that the politician had threatened to “destroy” her in retaliation for her complaint.
In a statement to Twitter posted on Wednesday morning, Kihuen claimed he had been unaware of the website and that attorneys for his campaign would be asking “its author to take it down immediately.”
Read the full story at Buzzfeed.
South Korea’s escalating problem with hidden-camera porn has burst into full public view after three high-profile K-pop stars quit their bands amid allegations that they viewed secretly filmed sex videos.
Yong Jun-hyung, 29, a member of the popular boy band Highlight, announced that he was leaving the group on Thursday after admitting to receiving a sex video that a fellow entertainer recorded without the woman’s consent. Not only did he view the video, he said, he also participated in “inappropriate conversations” about it with other celebrities in a shared chat group.
“All these behaviors were extremely unethical, and I was stupid,” he wrote on Instagram.
Singer-songwriter and TV personality Jung Joon-young, 30, also announced that he was quitting the entertainment industry this week after confessing to using hidden cameras to film himself having sex with them and sharing the videos with the chat group. And another musician who allegedly viewed Jung’s videos, Bigbang member Seungri, quit his group on Monday after being accused of buying prostitutes for potential business partners. All three pop stars are facing police investigations.
An association of female lawyers pointed to the scandal as evidence of the widespread sexual objectification of women in South Korea. In particular, they noted, such attitudes have contributed to a shocking rise in the filming of hidden-camera porn, known as molka. In 2010, there were 1,100 molka arrests in South Korea — by 2014, the number of such arrests had shot up to more than 6,600.
“These recurring outbursts of gender-related crimes can no longer be attributed to ethical lapses of a few select individuals,” wrote journalist Lee Suh-yoon in an article for The Korea Times. “It’s time to point the finger at society, culture and an industry that overlooks and encourages such horrifying behavior.”
Read the full story at The Guardian.
Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate change activist, has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. The honor is well-timed — tomorrow, student-led “school strikes” inspired by her activism are expected to take place in over a hundred countries.
Thunberg started the Youth Strike for Climate movement when she began a solo protest outside the Swedish Parliament last summer. Since then, other students across Europe have staged mass walkouts, and Thunberg earned an invitation to the World Economic Forum in Davos, where she famously told the audience: “Our house is on fire… I want you to panic.”
NEW SUMMIT SPEAKER!
Time for an announcement: The newest speaker at the 2019 Women in the World Summit is Priyanka Chopra. The activist, actress, entrepreneur, and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador joins Brie Larson, Stacey Abrams, Anna Wintour and Oprah Winfrey on the incredible lineup. See them all at the 10th Annual Summit in New York, April 10-12. Secure your seat before they’re gone.
HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT
As media outlets scramble to tell us every detail of actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman’s alleged involvement in a college admissions bribery ring, the men implicated in the same case appear to be facing far less public scrutiny.
ENOUGH IS RIGHT
Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte has always been a misogynist, but he outdid himself at a recent event intended to honor women in law enforcement.
His remarks, which he said he hoped would bring his female critics “to the limits of despair,” included multiple references to the women in the audience as “crazy.” Duterte later defended himself as someone who “loves women.” His proof? “I have two wives.”
On International Women’s Day, protestors marched against him in Manila, chanting “Tama Na, Sulong Kababaihan!” (Enough, Onward Women!) Read more about their resistance at Rappler (and see that publication’s Executive Editor and CEO Maria Ressa at the Women in the World Summit.)
Elizabeth Warren and Nancy Pelosi have dominated the political headlines this week.
While Warren was disagreeing with her old sparring partner Joe Biden (and receiving the unlikely backing of Ted Cruz for her ambitious plan to combat big tech) Nancy Pelosi was busy converting Mike Pence’s existing office into additional space for her own team.
When Pelosi was asked late yesterday about new charges against Trump associate Paul Manafort, she responded: “Don’t ruin my day,” then added she was focused on “happy things” and staying out of the “slime.”
MEN ARE FROM MARS…
But a woman will get there first. This week, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced that a woman is likely to be the first human being to walk on Mars.
During a New York City radio appearance, Bridenstine delivered further good news: the next time Americans land on the moon, a woman will be among the astronauts walking on its surface.
NEED TO KNOW
Two stars of the World Cup-winning U.S. Women’s Soccer Team have announced their engagement. Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris will marry in Florida following this years’ competition.
Black actresses are calling out Hollywood studios for consistently supplying them with hairstylists who have no idea how to do their hair.
A new app can scan any page of a history textbook and replace the male figures with an inspirational woman from the same period.
Meghan Markle has been credited with “moving the dial” for the royal family after her International Women’s Day remarks addressed menstruation, feminism, and how men must support the movement.
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The next person to land on the moon — and the first person to ever land on Mars — is likely to be a woman, according to NASA head Jim Bridenstine.
Appearing on radio show Science Friday, the NASA administrator was unequivocal in his response to a question about whether the space agency would include a women astronaut on their next trip to the moon. No woman, the interviewer noted, had ever landed on the moon.
“Absolutely,” replied Bridenstine.
“NASA is committed to making sure we have a broad and diverse set of talent and we’re looking forward to the first woman on the moon,” Bridenstine said. “These are great days.”
Bridenstine declined to make specific mention of any women astronauts, but insisted that women would play a big role in future NASA missions. On a potential journey to Mars, he said, a woman was “likely to be” the first person to touch down on the red planet’s surface.
Currently, women make up 34 percent of active NASA astronauts. At the end of the month, NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch are scheduled to perform the first ever all-women spacewalk.
Read the full story at CNN.
Ten Saudi Arabian women’s rights activists who have been held in jail without charge since May reportedly stood trial for the first time on Wednesday. Now, three of them have been honored with the prestigious PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award, which is given to writers who have been imprisoned for their work.
The three recipients are Nouf Abdulaziz, Loujain al-Hathloul, and Eman al-Nafjan. Confined to a jail in Saudi Arabia, they likely have no idea they’ve won the award.
“These gutsy women have challenged one of the world’s most notoriously misogynist governments, inspiring the world with their demand to drive, to govern their own lives, and to liberate all Saudi women from a form of medieval bondage that has no place in the 21st century,” said Suzanne Nossel, head of PEN America, the literary organization that grants the award.
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PEN America will honor imprisoned writers Nouf Abdulaziz, Loujain Al-Hathloul, and Eman Al-Nafjan with the 2019 PEN/Barbey #FreedomToWrite Award at our annual literary gala. Learn more about the honorees and their inspiring activism by clicking the link in our bio. . (note: Nouf Abdulaziz’s photograph is not publicly available for privacy and safety reasons.)
The three are among a group of defendants that appeared before the Criminal Court in Riyadh last week. According to court president Ibrahim al-Sayari, the women were finally presented with charges in the courtroom. But the kingdom’s public prosecutors are still refusing to publicize the actual charges against them. And according to al-Hathloul’s brother, her case was moved from the criminal court to the Specialized Criminal Court — which was ostensibly created to try terrorism cases.
Last week, 36 countries — including all 28 members of the European Union — signed a statement calling on Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman to release the activists. An independent British panel has found that at least 8 of more than a dozen women’s rights activist imprisoned last spring had suffered solitary confinement, assault, sexual harassment, and sleep deprivation while in prison. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have said that all the imprisoned women have been denied access to lawyers, and that at least three suffered torture and sexual assault.
The family of al-Hathloul, one of the country’s most famous women’s rights activists, said that she has been “whipped, beaten, electrocuted, and harassed on a frequent basis.” Al-Hathloul, 29, had previously been arrested by Saudi authorities for protesting the country’s driving ban by driving into Saudi Arabia from the United Arab Emirates. She was arrested again in summer 2017 without being charged and was released only to be imprisoned again in the crackdown last spring.
Read the full story at Al Jazeera.