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TWIF Vol. 45

1. Taraneh Alidoosti Bares Her Feminist Tattoo.

Taraneh Alidoosti, a beloved actor known by some as the Iranian Natalie Portman (????), accidentally showed off a controversial side of herself with her tat-slip (the new nip-slip) during a press conference about her most recent film The Salesman. It’s not yet confirmed, but in the photos released, it looks like Alidoosti has a “woman power” tattoo on her inner forearm--the idea of which sent some of her fans and critics into an absolute fit. Social media, well beloved in Iran, exploded with commentary on her politics, ranging all the way from accusations that she supports abortion rights (oooo scary) to discoveries of commenters’ own passions for feminism.  In a country where, politically, feminism has not had much luck but public interest is rather strong, the question of a celebrity’s feminism is pretty high stakes. And this queen’s response to criticism about her potential tat? “Keep calm and YES I’m a feminist.” Pinch us.

 

2. Egyptian Teen Mayar Muhamed Mousa Dies From FGM Operation.

The practice of female genital mutilation (FGM, also known as genital cutting) presents a major tension between cultural and feminist groups globally. And while there are certainly lots of assumptions made about its practitioners, it’s crucial (yet challenging, TBH) to grasp the sheer number of women whose clitorises have been painfully and often dangerously removed for cultural and/or religious reasons. Not all of these millions of women and their families share similar backgrounds or values, obvs. But the need for cultural sensitivity in order to understand the “why” of the practice doesn’t replace the harsh and persistent criticism also required of the conversation about FGM--especially when women (and young girls) continue to die as a result of the procedure, like Egyptian teenager Mayar Muhamed Mousa who did not survive her operation carried out this week. Though the practice has been illegal in Egypt since 2008, FGM is still performed on a staggering number of women, by an even more staggering number of trained medical professionals. Stories like that of Mousa are unfortunately not rare enough in a world where women’s health is undervalued. Join us in the fight to change that.

 

3. Amber Heard Braves Public Outcry Over Johnny Depp Abuse Accusations.

In this week’s edition of “But he’s my faaaaavorite!!”, the world has rushed to Johnny Depp’s defense after his soon-to-be ex-wife Amber Heard publicly accused him of domestic violence and abuse. As People mag gratuitously pointed out, #TeamJohnny is pretty robust, and is depressingly overflowing with ladies--including his other ex-wife who cited Johnny’s (supposed) gentle and loving nature as reason for why he could never have hurt Heard (and consequently, why she must be lying). Unfortunately, we have seen stories like this bubble to the surface with regularity, and with controversial subjects like Bill Cosby and Woody Allen making it feel like the problem has escalated over the past few years. Truthfully, violence against women is nothing new, and violence carried out by our favorite men is nothing new, either. Read more about our take on this situation here.

 

4. Religious Pakistani Council Proposes Bill Encouraging Violence Against Women.

This week, the headlines had us doin’ a real double-take (they were pretty click-baity, TBH). Here’s what happened: Pakistan’s Council of Islamic Ideology, which is basically a group of severely out-of-touch elderly males who advise the government on questions of religion but are often not taken seriously by political leaders, proposed a draft of the “Women’s Protection Bill” that advocates for the light beating of one’s wife if she refuses sex or dresses improperly, among other outrageous and offensive things. *Gulp* Yikes. Before you go all “let’s build a wall” on me (lookin’ at you, Donald), remind yourself that this council is not representative of actual Muslim politics--which are certainly not uniform, anyway--and there has been significant backlash from Pakistani women’s groups and human rights groups in response. Hooray for rejecting Islamophobia and supporting the rights of women all at once!

5. Kate Beckinsale Speaks Out About Michael Bay's Verbal and Mental Abuse On Set.

Bad news for half-transformer, half-fuckboy Michael Bay, but it is definitely too late to say sorry, brah. Actor Kate Beckinsale brought some old shame and frustration into the spotlight this week when she reminded fans of the verbal abuse she suffered from director MB for the smash hit Pearl Harbor in 2002. According to madam Beck-retary, he criticized her appearance incessantly, telling media outlets that she was cast because she wasn’t hot to the point that female audience members would feel competitive or uncomfortable watching her on screen. Awwww, he’s thinking about us and our needs! So sweet. Yet another example of problematic beauty standards and aggressively rude and (wrongfully) powerful men commenting on women’s bodies as though they are made of plastic. Tisk tisk. Body image gotchya feelin’ some kind of way? Read more here!

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