1. Sexual Assault Survivor Bill of Rights Passes Unanimously.
Photo: Ryan Lash / TED
After endless disappointments from the justice system, we can finally celebrate something: Congress has just unanimously voted in favor of a sexual assault survivor bill of rights and it’s heading to Prez Obama’s desk as we speak (/type). Obviously a major win for women just based off the name it’s been given, this bill addresses many of the bumps in the road associated with rape kits; as they stand now, rape kits are very expensive to process, and their relevance expires in the eyes of the law after a certain amount of time, known as the statute of limitations. According to Kimberly Lawson from Broadly, Amanda Nguyen, one of the activists and sexual assault survivors behind the bill, had to “file an extension request in Massachusetts to keep her own rape kit viable every six months,” and put all her efforts into this bill to ensure no other woman is subjected to the same experience. Also from Broadly, we learned what this bill will actually change: it only applies to federal cases, but it eliminates the cost of “invasive medical forensic” exams that survivors are subjected to, and requires the survivor to then be informed of the results. Additionally, “a rape kit must be preserved for 20 years or the statute of limitations, whichever is shorter; when the evidence is scheduled to be destroyed, the victim must be informed 60 days beforehand and given the option to preserve the kit for longer.” All hail Amanda!
2. Megan Rapinoe Kneels in Solidarity with Colin Kaepernick.
This is one of the few times that sports have been able to hold my attention for longer than a flash of Michael Phelps’s smile, so we’ll count this as a win for everyone. You’ve probably heard all about Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback who decided not to stand for the pre-game National Anthem, and, if you’re anything like me, been annoyed by racist reactions that have all but overtaken the airwaves for weeks on end. This week, however, professional U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe took a stand--err, a kneel--of her own when she, too, refused to stand for the anthem at one of her games. The two--Kaepernick black and presumably straight, and Rapinoe white and gay--as with many others, are protesting the mistreatment of marginalized groups, and are addressing how neither of them feels seen or heard by the U.S. government. I'll sit for that!
3. CSU Los Angeles Draws Criticism for Black Housing Initiative.
In response to student demands, California State University, Los Angeles just opened up on-campus housing that would specifically serve as a safe community for black students--who make up roughly only 4% of the school’s population--but would technically be open to students of all races or ethnicities or backgrounds. Predictably enough, conservative internet trolls exploded in accusations of “segregationist” housing, implying that “all-black” dorms are bringing the racial segregation of our past “full circle.” Students from the black student union that lobbied the school for the new housing designation have spoken out, defending the many differences between their housing initiative and the hellish reality of segregated, mid-20th-century America. But what do they know, right??? Haha.
- There's some stuff happening between Black Lives Matter and the Dakota Access Pipeline 'protectors' (spoiler alert: it's badass)
- For the first time, there's punishment for acid-related hate crimes in India
- Phyllis Schlafly died this week. Show your respects and take your birth control on time tonight <3
~~~~Hungry? We spoke with Michelle Zauner, of solo music project Japanese Breakfast, about life and her new album "Psychopomp." The most important meal/interview of your day can be found here.~~~~