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Jun 12
Her eye on the news
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TERROR IN SUDAN
A Sudanese beauty influencer is using Instagram to tell the world about the atrocities taking place in her country.

The Sudanese military’s murderous crackdown on protesters worsened this week, with distressing reports that at least 70 women have been sexually assaulted by militias.

In an act of immense courage, Shahd Khidir has been using her feed – where you’d typically find her make-up tips – to get news out about the rapes and violence in Khartoum, the capital, where the internet has been shut down to prevent people from doing just that. Read here on why she won’t be silenced.

THANKS MOM!
Has self-professed ‘Tiger Mom’ Amy Chua gone too far?

In July 2018, Chua, a respected law Yale professor, penned a Wall Street Journal op-ed lauding then Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as a “mentor to women,” saying she “couldn’t think of a better judge for my own daughter’s clerkship.” When readers inevitably suggested she was angling for her daughter Sophia to secure a position in his office, Sophia strenuously denied the charges.

But this week, it emerged that Sophia will indeed begin her clerkship under Kavanaugh this summer. The internet was… not happy.

KING OF HER CASTLE
“Our culture needed an adult. Gayle King rose to the challenge.”

Over a period at CBS News that would have seen many call it quits, King has retained her composure through all of it, whether it was righting the ship after the ousting of her friend Charlie Rose, enduring R. Kelly screaming in her face, or listening to Virginia Governor Ralph Northam explain that he just came to understand why blackface is offensive.

While the network has rightly recognized her worth and compensated her for it, a new interview sees King declare that a huge part of the reason she stayed is the leadership of Susan Zirinsky: the first woman to head CBS News (and the inspiration for Holly Hunt’s character in Broadcast News).

THE RAP SHEET
Chris Brown and Drake have a new song together, and Rihanna fans are rightfully up in arms.

As culture writer Hannah Giorgis pointed out, Drake has gone from spending “a whole era of his career heedlessly professing his love for Rihanna” to “casually making a song with the man who attacked and threatened to kill her.”

Fittingly, the track is titled ‘No Guidance’. Here’s a link to enjoy Rihanna’s music instead.

WAIT, SO NIKE’S GOOD AGAIN?
Nike’s introduction of plus-size mannequins to its London flagship store has attracted both cheers and controversy.

Most people are hailing the addition as a landmark moment in the body positivity movement, but one journalist in particular has provoked an angry debate by declaring that “obese mannequins are selling women a dangerous lie.”

It continues to be an interesting season for Nike, which is sponsoring the Women’s World Cup while fighting claims that its maternity policies harm female athletes.

WE’RE ALSO READING
35 states still charge women a tampon tax. Do you live in one?

Your favorite progressive late night hosts still have shockingly few women on their writing staff.

A Democratic primary debate will focus exclusively on women’s health for the first time.

Kenya’s high court has ruled that rape survivors have the right to an abortion – a landmark ruling in a country where abortion is illegal in most cases.

Overlooked

In 1980, officials in Oldham, England, installed a plaque honoring Robert Edwards and Patrick Steptoe, two doctors who had pioneered in vitro fertilization at a lab in the town. Not mentioned on the plaque: Jean Purdy, a nurse and embryologist who made vital contributions to the research.

The omission came despite the fact that Edwards repeatedly lobbied for recognition for Purdy within the scientific community, newly released archival documents reveal.

As The New York Times reports, the University of Cambridge is making Edwards’ private papers accessible to the public. Among the doctor’s archives is a letter he wrote to Oldham Health Authority before the plaque was unveiled, stressing that Purdy “traveled to Oldham with me for 10 years and contributed as much as I did to the project. Indeed, I regard her as an equal contributor to Patrick Steptoe and myself.”

The health authority, however, opted to leave Purdy’s name off the plaque, which celebrated the 1978 birth of Louise Brown—the first baby born via IVF, which involves combining sperm and egg in a lab and implanting the embryo back into the mother’s body.

Indeed, while Edwards and Steptoe are well known for revolutionizing the field of fertility treatment — Edwards, who died in 2013, won a Nobel Prize in 2010 — Purdy remains obscure. She began working closely with Edwards in 1968, and in 1969, she traveled to California to conduct vital research in follicular fluid. She participated in IVF trials and helped establish the world’s first IVF clinic in Cambridgeshire in 1980. The BBC reports that it was Purdy who first spotted the fertilized egg that would become Louise Brown dividing to make new cells. 

Madelin Evans, an archivist who catalogued Edwards’ papers, told the Times that a number of factors likely contributed to Purdy’s “lack of recognition”: her sex, the tendency at the time to minimize nurses’ work, and the fact that embryology was still an emerging field in the 1970s and 80s.

In light of the revelations contained in Edwards’ letters, Zahid Chauhan, an Oldham council official, is talking to hospital chiefs and fellow council officials about an appropriate way to honor Purdy’s legacy. “Inventing IVF treatment would not have been possible without [early innovators] — very much including nurse Jean Purdy,” he said, according to the BBC. “And while she isn’t around to see that, I think it’s important that we recognize her contributions as well.”

Read more at the New York Times and the BBC.

Related

Louise Brown speaks out about her experiences as the world’s first “test-tube baby”

Nobel Prize-winning scientist was at first denied a Wikipedia entry — but not her male colleague

As girls get older, they become less likely to imagine scientists as women, study finds

'Brave like Gabe'

Gabriele Grunewald, a top middle distance runner who competed through multiple bouts of cancer, has died at the age of 32. She had drawn support from thousands on social media, where she chronicled her battle with the disease — or as she put it, “this challenging professional-runner-battling-cancer journey.”

Grunewald was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare cancer of the salivary glands, in 2009, when she was a runner for the University of Minnesota, according to the Associated Press. She received the terrible news the day before a race — which she ran anyway, logging what was, at the time, her fastest 1,500-meter run, The New York Times reports.

Her resilience would surface time and again over the following difficult years. In 2010, Grunewald was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, but she nevertheless decided to go professional, competing through chemotherapy treatments and surgeries. By 2013, she was the eleventh fastest female 1,500-meter runner in American history, and in 2014, she became the U.S. indoor 3,000-meter champion.

View this post on Instagram

Today: 10 Years with Cancer . ❌2009: First diagnosis of Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma, PR in 1500, surgery, radiation. . ❌2010: PR in 1500, Runner-up at NCAA Champs, sign professional contract with @brooksrunning. Second diagnosis of Thyroid Cancer, surgery. . ❌2011: Radioactive iodine therapy, 3rd in mile at US Indoors, PR in 1500. . ⭕️2012: PR of 4:04 in 1500, 4th at US Olympic Trials. . ⭕️2013: PR of 4:01 in 1500, 8:42 in 3000, 2:01 in 800, Fastest mile on MN soil 4:21 (road). . ⭕️2014: US Champion Indoor 3000, 5th place US Outdoor 1500. . ⭕️2015: PR in 800, PR in 5000. . ❌2016: 15:19 5000m, US Olympic Trials Finalist in 1500m. Recurrence of ACC. Major liver surgery. . ❌2017: Another liver recurrence. Ran 4:12 1500 before racing USA Champs on chemotherapy. Immunotherapy clinical trial, radioembolization. . ❌2018: No races but I tried! Oh wait I won the Silo District 5k in Waco! 🤩 Immunotherapy and radioembolization. . ❌2019: No races (yet)! ERCP with stent procedure, new drug Lenvatinib. Still hopeful 🙏 . After all this, I’m so happy to be here and so thankful to everyone who has extended love to me on this insanely difficult journey. I couldn’t do it without you! I thank God for my fam, friends and @justingrunewald1. ❤️ . If you wanna make me smile today and help honor my journey — sign up for the @bravelikegabe 5k for rare cancer research! 🎉 As I’ve had to alter so many of my life’s goals, running for research is one that fills the void better than most. ❤️ . #cancerversary #ihatecancer #letsbeatcancer #beatrarecancers #inspiration #runningonhope #bravelikegabe #bravelikegabe5k

A post shared by gabriele anderson grunewald (@gigrunewald) on

When her adenoid cystic carcinoma returned in 2016, Grunewald decided to share her story publicly, coining the motto “Brave Like Gabe,” which became the name of the foundation she started to support rare cancer research. She also encouraged others to share their own stories of adversity, be it cancer or simply “taking on a new fitness challenge.”

While running, Grunewald did not attempt to hide the large scar on her abdomen, the result of a life-extending surgery to remove half her liver and a large metastatic tumor. Living with the vestiges of her treatments — including a damaged facial nerve from neck surgery and a permanent bald spot from radiation — was not easy, but Grunewald recognized that her scars “represent survival,” she wrote earlier this year.

“My scars are a physical manifestation of what often feels like an invisible disease,” Grunewald said. “My scars tell my life’s story, and I’m pretty glad it’s not over yet.”

Even after her doctors found additional tumors in 2017, Grunewald began training for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. But earlier this month, doctors told Grunewald that she would soon die.

When her husband, Justin Grunewald, broke the news to her, she “took a deep breath and yelled ‘NOT TODAY,’” he wrote on Instagram.

In the wake of his wife’s death, he once again took to social media to thank her supporters from around the world. “Gabriele heard your messages and was so deeply moved,” he wrote. “She wants you to stay brave and keep all the hope in the world.”

Read more at the AP and the New York Times.

Related

Champion sprinter becomes first openly gay pro athlete in India’s history

100-year-old runner breaks world record in 100-yard dash

Runner Jasmin Paris smashes ultra-long distance race record while expressing breastmilk for her daughter

Guilty

Six men have been convicted of involvement in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old Muslim girl in India’s Jammu and Kashmir state last year, according to The Guardian, in a case that sparked outrage and protests across the country.

The child, from a nomadic Muslim community, was drugged, held captive at a temple, and sexually assaulted for a week before being strangled and battered to death with a stone in January 2018. The crime was part of a plan to remove the minority nomadic community from the area, The Guardian reported, citing court documents.

“This is a victory of truth,” prosecution lawyer M Farooqi said outside the court. “The girl and her family have got justice today. We are satisfied with the judgment.”

The convicted men included a Hindu priest and police officers, raising tensions between Hindus and Muslims in the area. Some members of the country’s ruling party had supported one of the officers, drawing fierce criticism.

Women and children have long suffered from violence in India, with reported rapes climbing 60 percent to 40,000 from 2012 to 2016, and many going unreported, The Guardian reported, citing government statistics.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

Related

Murder and rape of 8-year-old girl exacerbates religious conflicts in India

Champion sprinter becomes first openly gay pro athlete in India’s history

Protests erupt after ‘chilling’ sexual assault videos go viral in India

 

Courage

A German boat captain who rescues migrants in the Mediterranean Sea has been charged with assisting in illegal immigration in Italy, according to Germany’s public international broadcaster DW, and she could face a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Boat captain Pia Klemp, 35, has been under investigation in Italy since her ship, the Iuventa, was impounded in 2017, according to DW, and the government has moved to ban her from sailing around the Italian coast.

Through her work on that ship and another, Klemp has helped rescue more than 1,000 people at risk of drowning as they attempted to cross to Europe in dinghies in search of a better future, DW reported.

Klemp said she will fight the case up to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, if necessary.

At the Women in the World Summit in 2018, another ship captain who rescues refugees at sea, Madeleine Habib, spoke about the immense scale of the refugee crisis and how it feels to pull desperate, displaced people from the sea.

Watch highlights of her comments at the summit below.

Read the full story at DW.

Related

Meet the seafaring humanitarian steering a courageous course

Olympic swimmer recalls having to literally swim for her life as a teenage refugee

Bodies of 26 teenage girls found floating in the Mediterranean Sea

06.12.19

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