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TWIF Vol. 55

1. American Bar Association Bars Sexist Condescension.

On the never-ending quest to define and penalize harassment in the workplace, on the street, and online, it’s encouraging to see that the American Bar Association announced this week that they are--err--barring discriminatory and condescending speech in the courtroom including the use of terms like “honey” or “darling.” Yup, even women who have worked their brilliant asses off to get through law school and sit in a courthouse day and night experience sexism, often in the form of patronizing remarks from (#male) colleagues and opponents in a subtle effort to chip away at a woman’s validity on and off the bench. Though some have argued that this move could potentially “hinder the vigorous representation” of clients (literally, wut), the eradication of such demeaning verbiage will only serve to keep courtrooms more fair and accessible to hardworking female attorneys. Save that honey talk for when Winnie the Pooh is sued, boys.


2. Zika Spreads in U.S. States With Very Limited Abortion Access.


In case you haven’t absorbed enough secondhand Zika panic from the scare-tacticky subway ads in NYC, there is news this week of the mosquito-borne disease making its way to a handful of southern U.S. states on the Gulf of Mexico, and closer and closer to a part of the country with some of the least accessible abortion services of anywhere in the States. As this disease affects pregnant women and their newborns--“severe brain impairment” in babies is the most infamous symptom--the presence of Zika has sparked many debates about abortion access, particularly late term abortions. Against the will of most people (as of this momentous study, BTW), conservative Floridian senator Marco Rubio stated this week that he remains firmly opposed to all terminations of pregnancy, even with the additional stresses of Zika and the heightened concern for the baby’s or the mother’s health. First of all, Marco, sit down. No one asked you and your uterus-less abdomen for your opinion. Second of all, the issue of access to reproductive healthcare has steered the Zika discussion since the initial outbreak in South America, where abortion services are also incredibly limited, and the progress made has been minimal. Aaaaand the struggle continues.


3. Malia Obama Smokes a J, Gets Shamed.

Breaking news: Teen Smokes Plant at Music Festival, Entire Western Hemisphere Crumbles Into Sea. Malia Obama smoking weed and getting shamed for it this week would otherwise pass as just another non-story about a celebrity kid with a controversial parent, but because she’s black, the criticism here is more pointed and political (and not just because daddy-O is kinda sorta a politician). This country’s war on drugs complicates issues of race in many ways, particularly with the disproportionate number of people of color who are incarcerated on minor drug charges, and the relatively few white people who face a similar fate. Not to mention the issue of people just generally policing the actions of prominent black women more than their white peers, which is essentially dehumanizing (and baaaasically the dumbest thing ever). More thoughts on where we should be directing our concern for black women here.


4. Shot-Put Star Hurls Olympic Sexism.


If you’re a #truefan of our newsletters, you may have already read about all the ways the Olympics have been sexism central this year, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t bring it up one more time (this is the encore you always wanted, right!?). Incredible female accomplishments have been chalked up to male triumphs, appearances have been valued over athletic ability and performance, gold-winning women have been reduced to property belonging to their famous husbands, etc. etc. etc. Here’s to you, sexist broadcasters. *salutes cheekily* Luckily for us, we have found the hero we all need in a certain shot-put queen who is shot-putting out sexist fires left and right. Professional makeup artist and Olympic shot-putter Michelle Carter is here to let everyone know that women of all body types and levels of “femininity” can kick ass at the sport--or the whatever, TBH--of their choosing. She would also like everyone to know that, yes, she will continue to wear her lipstick and fake lashes out on the field because why the hell not.


5. Women Defy Tradition in India, Create First Feminist Newspaper.


Some boundary-busting broads in India have garnered western media attention recently for the incredible work they’re doing to publish India’s “first feminist newspaper.” Located in a rural town, the women behind the operation--the paper is called Khabar Lahariya--have had to face a lot of adversity from neighbors of theirs who insisted up until recently that women shouldn’t be allowed out of the home alone after dark. Yikes. The paper is staffed exclusively by women, most of whom come from lower-caste families, and it focuses primarily on local news, which is in high demand because it tends to go underreported. Additionally, these women have included a page dedicated exclusively to women’s issues, AND there’s a separate column addressing women’s issues, as well. Get it, ladiez.
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