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THE POP CULTURE RAG VOL. 10

MICHELLE OBAMA ASKS MEN TO BE BETTER

As ya’ll know by now, our very own She-E-O Miki Agrawal attended the first United State Of Women Summit! The talk between First Lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey was one of her absolute faves of the night, and after hearing the First Lady’s thoughts on men supporting women we can certainly see why.

When Oprah asked Michelle Obama what men can do to help women, she stated that they can “Be better.” (Umm...did we just hear a mic drop???)  The first lady wasn’t just at the Summit to hang with Oprah--she was there to drop some serious truth on how all men- yes, literally all of them, can do more at home and in the workplace, from being a more present parent to hiring women and providing equal pay.


“Men can be better husbands, which is — be a part of your family’s life. Do the dishes. Don’t babysit your children. You don’t babysit your own children,” she said to Winfrey. Yowza. First Lady 1, complacent papas, 0.

“Be a better employer. When you are sitting at a seat of power at a table of any kind and you look around you just see you, it’s just you and a bunch of men around a table, on a golf course, making deals, and you allow that to happen, and you’re OK with that — be better.” Do you have chills yet? Brb, grabbing our sweaters. 

The first lady is encouraging dudes everywhere to take ownership and responsibility for their actions. Her honesty and realness led Winfrey to say “You make me proud to spell my name W-O-M-A-N.’ Michelle Obama.” We haven’t agreed with anything more since your thoughts on Bread, Oprah.

 

ANNE HATHAWAY BECOMES A U.N. AMBASSADOR

Anne Hathaway, forever a princess in our early 2000's teenage hearts, is reigning in a new highly-coveted position--she has been named as a U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador. Bow down, arewerite?

Hathaway will be specifically focusing on mothers, which is fitting, as she became one for the first time this past March. Her subjects of focus will include wage gaps, access to childcare, and unpaid leave. Hathaway took to her Instagram to express her enthusism. 

“Excited to be appointed Global Goodwill Ambassador of @UNWomen the UN agency for gender equality and women’s empowerment. Honored to work with @UNWomen to ensure that all genders are able to fully and equally participate in the world economy. I think we can all agree it's long past the time for action," she wrote following the news.

The U.N. has made an official statement regarding decision to work with Hathaway. “This year U.N. Women is driving hard to foster more positive mindsets and practical arrangements around workplaces that build and support equality for women,” said U.N. Women executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

 

 

Hathaway's title is coming at a time where mothers are in serious need of an advocate. Working mothers earn 3% less on average than non-working women in the United States, and it is the only developed country that is not under mandate to provide paid maternity leave. The U.S. Department of Labor doesn’t even have an actual law around how much time mothers get to pump at work- it literally states the amount of time should be “reasonable.” Reasonable?? Can someone please explain to us how one would define reasonable, because it seems a bit vague to us. 

We wanna congratulate Anne on her new title, and can't wait for her to shine with the confidence of a princess/catwoman/startup She-E-O all rolled into one (brb, need to go rewatch every Hathaway movie ever.)

 

MELISSA ETHERIDGE WRITES "PULSE" FOR ORLANDO VICTIMS

In the wake of the tragic mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, singer/songwriter and gay rights activist Melissa Etheridge has begun to heal through music, and hopes she can bring comfort to others. 

Etheridge released a song on Wednesday called Pulse, named after the venue, and has dedicated it to the victims and LGBT community at large. “I’m dealing with it the way I deal, which is, I wrote a song," Etheridge told Rolling Stone. [Musicians] have been the town criers for hundreds of years. We’re mirrors of society. We want to try to make sense. We want to try to heal.” Pulse was released within 24 hours that the shooting occurred.

 

 

Etheridge performed the song at Infinity Hall in Norfolk, Connecticut, and announced that all proceeds from the song will be donated to an LGBT charity.

When asked why she named the song Pulse, she told Rolling Stone that “You just start thinking about your own pulse. You come up with: ‘Everybody’s got a pulse/ Love will always win because underneath the skin, everybody’s got a pulse.’ It’s the way I’ve always felt about the gay movement, the gay issue.”

Ethridge says she has received an “outpour of love” on her social media accounts since releasing the ballad. We applaud Ethridge for bringing comfort and support to the LGBT community during this time.

 

KERRY WASHINGTON BRINGS AWARENESS TO FINANCIAL ABUSE 

Actress and activist Kerry Washington wants to end financial abuse, and just like her no-nonsense character Olivia Pope on Scandal, she is handling it.

Washington spoke at the United State Of Women Summit and brought awareness to the Allstate Foundation's Purple Purse, a campaign she has been partnered with for 3 years. Purple Purse aims to empower domestic abuse victims and help them become financially independent.

What is financial abuse, you ask? (It's okay- a v. fair question!) According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, financial abuse is a tactic used to keep monetary control in a relationship. While this form of abuse can be considered more subtle, as you cannot physically see its impact, Washington assures us it is much more common than you think.

“It’s the No. 1 reason why women don’t leave abusive relationships, and it’s the No. 1 reason why, even when they do leave, they go back,” Washington explained to Yahoo Celebrity. The star continued to speak about her partnership with Purple Purse and how her contribution to the campaign (they’ve raised over 2.5 million from selling a literal purple purse she's designed) is mutually beneficial.

“It takes two things that I’m very passionate [about] — one is women’s empowerment and ending violence against women, and [the other is] fashion — and by some miracle I get to work in these two spaces that are so fulfilling and important to me.”

 


Washington, who has confirmed that she personally knows women who have suffered from financial abuse, will continue to speak for women who feel silenced or powerless. To donate to the Allstate Foundation's Purple Purse campaign, click here.

 

SKYE FERRIERA SHARES HER SEXIST EXPERIENCE WITH THE PRESS


L.A. Weekly published an, ahem, colorful (sexist) article about musician Sky Ferreira, and our pretend-but-maybe-one-day-BFF got real about the way she is often perceived in media (spoiler alert: it's not great.) Feel free to pause and make popcorn to prepare for this juicy retelling of Ferreira unleashing one of the best Twitter rants of all. time. 

The article in question, written by a horny dude named Art Tavana, seemed to be more focused on Ferreira's appearance and her perceived aesthetic (the title of the article was literally Sky Ferreira's Sex Appeal Is What Pop Music Needs Right Now), and spends most of the article breaking down how sexy and edgy Ferreira is. Literally, the first paragraph: “Sky Tonia Ferreira, 23, has a name that reads like a turbo-charged Italian sports car, or the kindred spirit to second-generation Italian-American pop star Madonna, the most ambitious woman to ever wear a pink cone bra. Both Sky and Madonna have similar breasts in both cup size and ability to cause a shitstorm.” Please feel free to take a break from your popcorn so you don’t gag on it.

The L.A. Times has since published an apology, but Ferreria took to her Twitter to express her disappointment in the genuine sexism in the article. Although she warns us that her Tweets were not her “official statement,” she wanted to make a few things clear, including:

 

We salute Ferreira for expressing her frustrations with the way she is written about in mainstream media. Women who are exploited to create a ‘sexy’ article deserve to get angry, and most importantly, deserve to be heard. In the future, why don’t we just focus on the fantastic music she’s making and maybe, like, not her boobs. Good? Good. :)

 

OUR VERY OWN MIKI LAUNCHES SERIES, SHE-E-O

Every week, you'll get a lil' sneak peek into what it takes to be a SHE-EO in today's modern, fempowered landscape. Hint: It's fun! Each week, Miki will pass on her experiences and learning to all of y'all. 

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