Welcome to the Fem2 Friday Rewind for the week of 12.5-12.11, 2015 – I’m happy to say there are more good things to highlight!
Bring a little feminist positivity to tonight’s holiday party and wow your friends with your current knowledge of the latest fast facts in feminist news!
#RAPECULTURE #SEXUALASSAULT #BLACKWOMENMATTER
FORMER OFFICER GUILTY OF RAPING #WOC ON THE JOB: The crimes committed were unspeakably horrible, but a small victory was won for a community often marginalized as voiceless: low-income black women. Daniel Holtzclaw, former Oklahoma City police officer, was found guilty last night of 18 counts of sexual assault. The convictions against him include four for first-degree rape, which can result in a sentencing of life in prison. All of his victims were black.
Rachel Anspach of the African American Policy Forum, said:
“Historically, we’ve seen the justice system hasn’t protected black women from sexual assault.”
Many have speculated Holtzclaw targeted his victims because he believed he could threaten them into submission and silence, telling them no one would believe them if the spoke out. His guilty verdict is helping to bring a prevalent issue into the light. It shows that, increasingly, the public is refusing to look the other way when people in power commit abuse and crime. Increasingly, perpetrators are being brought to justice.
#PAIDLEAVE #FAMILYLEAVE #LEADONLEAVE
NEXFLIX UPS THE ANTE: Hourly workers at Netflix will now receive maternity, paternity, and adoption leave for 12-16 weeks at full pay, similar benefits to the paid parental leave salaried workers at Netflix were granted over the summer. This is incredibly uncommon in the US, particularly for hourly workers, as US law requires only that new parents be provided 12 weeks of unpaid leave – there is still no federal law addressing any paid family leave. Netflix is helping to set the standard for US companies. Hopefully this continued momentum will help catapult the issue further into the national spotlight.
TACKLING BODY SHAMING ONE NUDE PHOTOSHOOT AT A TIME: Oxford University is promoting female body positivity with a calendar featuring their women’s rugby team, save for their cleats and socks, in the nude. The amazing, un-photoshopped images of the women show their athleticism and confidence, and portray the sport as one for players of a variety of sizes and strength. Proceeds of the sale of the calendar will benefit a charity focused on combating eating disorders.
#REPRORIGHTS #REPROHEALTH #REPROJUSTICE #STANDWITHPP
ANTI-ABORTION PROTESTERS SUED BY SCHOOL: A charter school in DC has sued anti-abortion protesters for harassing children entering and exiting their school. Protesters are disputing the construction of a Planned Parenthood facility on an adjacent property.
Protesters have allegedly told students that “they kill kids next door” and encourage children as young as three to tell their parents to stop the “bloodbath that’s coming,” while waving graphic images. DC Mayor Muriel Boswer said of the lawsuit:
“Students should be able to get to school without being harassed, and without any threat to their safety and security.”
One of the protesters in the lawsuit is Robert Weiler Jr. of Maryland, who served a sentence in prison for planning to bomb an abortion clinic. I’ll leave you to think your own thoughts about this one.
POLL SHOWS MOST OF U.S. DOESN’T WANT TO DEFUND PLANNED PARENTHOOD: Despite moves in both the Senate and the House to defund Planned Parenthood, a new poll showed the vast majority of Americans do not want to see the organization lose its funding. President Obama, reflecting those views, has promised to veto any legislation defunding Planned Parenthood.
Thank you, Obama. Congress — can we please focus on something else now?
WHAT IF GUNS WERE AS DIFFICULT TO GET AS ABORTIONS? If gun laws mirrored the level of restrictions imposed on abortion seekers in the US, they would look significantly different than they do now. For example – women in some states are required to endure a three-day waiting period before their procedure, but in several states anyone not convicted of a felony can purchase a gun in just minutes.
State Rep. Stacey Newman (D) of Missouri recently filed a bill to make that exact point; her legislation would require anyone wanting to purchase a gun to mimic the restrictions required of women seeking abortions – including the 72-hour waiting period.
We need more legislators calling attention to the strangeness and inequity of our laws that claim to “protect” life and livelihood.
#FEMINISIM! #ANTISEXISM #EDUCATION
FEMINIST BOOK NOW REQUIRED READING IN SWEDEN: Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie’s “We Should All Be Feminists” will soon be given to every 16 year old in the Swedish public school system. Chairperson Clara Bergland of the Swedish Women’s Lobby, whose initiative it is to provide all students the book, said:
“It is a gift to all … high school students, but it is also a gift to ourselves and future generations.”
“GO TO COLLEGE!”: Ok, so this doesn’t directly have to do with feminism, but First Lady Michelle Obama is one of my personal heroes and I admire the way she works so hard to connect with the young people in our nation. She and Jay Pharoah of Saturday Night Live just released an amazing rap video encouraging high school students to pursue college as the next step to set themselves up for a bright and prosperous future. We’ve included it below for your viewing pleasure!
1ST WOMAN SINCE 1986 HONORED WITH PERSON OF THE YEAR: German Chancellor Angela Merkel is only the 4th woman to be selected as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. In an incredibly challenging year, facing Europe’s economic crisis and massive influx of refugees as well as deadly terrorist attacks, Merkel deftly barreled through tired, age-old stereotypes and proved herself an effective world leader.
Well, feminist friends, that wraps this week’s Rewind. We wish you a safe and festive weekend as we approach the holidays!
The Fem2 Team