BATTLE WON, WAR TO COME
The district attorneys of Georgia’s four largest counties say they won’t enforce the state’s new abortion law.
But while their united interview in yesterday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution is worth a read, remember that the end goal of the anti-abortion bills recently passed in several states was never for them to quietly become law. Instead, the mission has always been to put Roe vs. Wade before the Supreme Court by provoking a legal battle sure to end up in front of the nation’s highest court.
And now that Louisiana’s Democratic Governor John Edwards says he’ll sign his state’s version of the ban, it’s clear that these attacks on women’s reproductive rights aren’t being led by Republicans — they’re being led by men.
CAN’T STOP KATH
After returning The Guardian to profitability for the first time in decades (the newspaper lost $72.5million the year before she started) Katharine Viner had every right to take the rest of 2019 off.
Instead, the paper’s first female editor-in-chief is making history again in the very same month. In a move we hope to see all publications follow, Viner has rewritten the newspaper’s style guide to ensure that its environmental reporting accurately depicts a planet facing a “catastrophe for humanity.”
As part of the new dictum, ‘climate change’ is becoming ‘climate emergency’, ‘global heating’ will replace ‘global warming’, and ‘climate denier’ will replace ‘climate skeptic’.
WORK, WORK, WORK (x18)
The company that owns Louis Vuitton and Dior hasn’t launched a brand from scratch for more than thirty years. But they didn’t have Rihanna before.
This week, luxury group LVMH is launching Fenty, which will make Rihanna the first black woman to lead a major fashion house. To celebrate, the star has given a rare interview that includes a glimpse at her leadership style (“I’m very smart with my control freak. I welcome other people’s expertise.”), why she used to change her voice in business meetings, and why she has no plans to act again soon: “I’m always like, “Guys, thank you for trusting me, but Angelina Jolie is over there.”
FAILURE TO LAUNCH
In France, the progress of #MeToo — which they call #OutYourPig — may be flatlining.
While President Macron’s impressive Gender Equality Minister has handed out hundreds of on-the-spot fines to street harassers, a new report shows that famous French men who were forced out of their positions for sexual abuses are quietly (and not so quietly) returning to their professions.
And of course, French women fighting for progress have also had to face down attacks from their own: 100 female artists, celebrities and intellectuals famously signed an open letter last year accusing the movement of having gone too far.
“In the name of all who hold fast to an ideal in the midst of the storm, I accept this award with a full and humble heart.”
Late Sunday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was honored with the prestigious JFK Profile in Courage award. The Speaker used her speech not only to acknowledge her successes, but also to share her hopes for the future — and even to hint at her 2020 candidate preferences:
“I don’t like when people say I’m the highest-ranking woman this or that,” Pelosi revealed, “because I thought by now we would certainly have a woman president. Hopefully that will be sometime in the near future.”
NO SAFE REFUGE
As many as 60% of female North Korean refugees in China are being trafficked into the sex trade.
A damning new report from the London-based Korea Future Initiative confirms what Human Rights Watch began reporting on last November — that thousands of North Korean women and girls are being sold as wives to Chinese men, forced into prostitution and made to livestream sex acts to the internet.
In 2015, Women in the World spoke to then-21-year-old Yeommi Park, who defected from North Korea when she was 13 — only to be sold for $26 into sexual slavery in China. Park eventually escaped by trekking across the Gobi Desert, and now speaks out about rampant sex trafficking and human rights abuses in her homeland. Watch her appearance here.
WE’RE ALSO TRACKING
Austria’s right-wing government is in disarray after one of its senior figures was caught promising government contracts to a woman posing as a Russian oligarch’s niece. The politician has attributed his actions to “alcohol-fueled macho behavior” and an attempt to impress the “attractive hostess.”
Chicago has finally inaugurated Lori Lightfoot as Mayor. Watch her full speech here, including a moving moment with her proud mother in the front row.
Selena Gomez, the third most-followed user on Instagram with 150 million followers, says social media has been “terrible for my generation”.
The acclaimed New Yorker writer talks with Tina about his new book A Thousand Small Sanities, what both the right and the left get wrong about liberalism and why people who spit on the plate of civility might not deserve a seat at the table.
At least one in three Alaska villages has no local law enforcement—no state troopers, no village cops—and sexual assault runs rampant, according to a disturbing new investigation from the Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica. Almost all of the communities are primarily Alaska Native.
Seventy of these lawless villages are large enough to have a school and a post office. Most can be reached only by plane, boat, all-terrain vehicle, or snowmobile, meaning emergency help can be hours, or days, away.
The unprotected villages that are unreachable by road have nearly four times as many sex offenders, per capita, than the national average, the report found.
Many of these villages are in western Alaska, where sex-crime rates are double the statewide average, according to the report. Alaska’s statewide rate is nearly three times the U.S. average.
In the village of Kiana, Annie Reed serves as the sole police officer. In her village, sex offenders outnumber her by seven-to-one. A 49-year-old grandmother, Reed has received just three weeks of law enforcement training. She handles crimes ranging from armed fights to home invasions to domestic violence, with no local backup.
She began working as a police officer about five years ago, when a relative said she would be good at the job. “She said I was a strong and outgoing person,” Reed says.
Rather than increasing recruitment for law enforcement, the report found, Gov. Mike Dunleavy has proposed a state budget that would cut $3 million in funding for vacant village police officer jobs. The cuts are part of a proposed $1.8 billion reduction in state spending for the cash-strapped state, according to the report.
Read the full story at ProPublica.
Senator Kamala Harris proposed an ambitious plan on Monday to tackle the gender pay gap—by fining companies that pay men more than women.
Under the California senator’s proposal, companies with 100 or more employees would need to obtain an “equal pay certification” every two years to prove that they are paying women and men equally for equal work.
Currently, women who work full time make 80 cents for every dollar that men with full-time jobs make, according to recent studies (which aren’t based on analogous work); the numbers are even more grim for women who are racial minorities.
Companies that don’t meet the requirements would be fined 1 percent of their profits for every 1 percent difference in pay, according to the senator’s proposal.
“For too long, we’ve put the burden entirely on workers to hold corporations accountable for pay discrimination through costly lawsuits that are increasingly difficult to prove,” she said in the announcement of the plan on Monday. “We’ve let corporations hide their wage gaps, but forced women to stand up in court just to get the pay they’ve earned.”
The plan is the latest of several major policy proposals of the senator’s presidential campaign. She has proposed heavily investing federal money in teacher pay, enacting a refundable tax credit of up to $6,000 for households, and taking executive actions on gun safety.
Read the full story at The New York Times
Saturday Night Live star Leslie Jones took Republicans to task over the push to end abortion rights for American women in a spirited season finale on Saturday.
Dressed as a handmaid from the The Handmaid’s Tale, in which fertile women are forced into sexual slavery to bear children for richer families, Jones kicked off the “Weekend Update” segment by declaring, “Well, basically we’re all handmaids now. This is how it starts. I’m out living my life, and then I see on the news a bunch of states are trying to ban abortion and tell me what I can and can’t do with my body.”
She then swapped her handmaid’s garb for a black T-shirt emblazoned with the word “MINE” and an arrow pointing toward her uterus.
Jones expressed outrage that in Alabama, a group of male Republican senators — nearly all of whom are white — voted to criminalize abortion, with no exceptions for rape or incest. As pictures of the men flashed onscreen, she said, “This look like the casting call for a Lipitor commercial. This look like the mugshots of everyone arrested at a massage parlor.”
She added, “You can’t control women, because I don’t know if y’all heard, but women are the same as humans.”
Taking on a more somber tone, Jones discussed the fact that a growing number of states — Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and Utah — have passed extreme bills limiting or criminalizing abortion in recent months as part of a GOP push to get the Supreme Court to reverse the Roe v. Wade decision that gave American women the right to safe and accessible abortion services.
“This really is a war on women,” she said. “If you’re a woman out there and you feel scared or confused, just know that you’re not alone. There are so many women out there who’ve got your back.”
Watch video of the segment below.
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) May 19, 2019
Read the full story at The Washington Post.