1. HRC and Trump Engage in the Not-So-Great Debate, Part III
At this point, we pretty much feel like this election cycle is no longer funny. Now that Tr*mp has stood up on a national stage and accused his own accusers of fabricating stories about sexual assault in order to ~get~ ~fame~ (our eyes cannot ROLL any further), and called his opponent a “nasty woman” (but not in the cool, Sophia Amoruso kinda way), and unironically alluded to abortion as a process that involves “ripping” a baby out of the womb the day of birth (and we’re not talkin’ about Macduff here), on top of so many other awful things, we aren’t as eager to giggle about his cheeto dust hair cut and his apparent obsession with va-Chinas. And at the exact moment that we stopped laughing, HRC came through for us with an unprecedented, firm, and downright enthusiastic defense of a woman’s right to choose in a way that the country hasn’t seen on a presidential debate stage. As painful as the third and final debate was to watch, it was a great reminder of our BFF Hill’s capacity to withstand verbal accosting at every turn. If only this election cycle could be #untimelyripped from our collective womb so it could be done already.
2. Harvard Service Workers Protest Wages and Health Care.
For the past couple weeks, Harvard service workers have been on strike against what they deem unfair pay and health care compensation that they receive from the world’s wealthiest university. This uprising is the first time since the 80s that there has been a workers’ strike at the campus, and is drawing a lot of attention from workers at other school across the country who empathize with the concerns of the Unite Here Local 26 union in the spotlight rn. Based on the response from the Harvard administration thus far, it’s not looking like a consensus is going to be easily reached; the strikers do, however, have a distinct advantage: the overwhelming support of the student population. Student activist groups and workers’ rights groups have offered their support and organized rallies for their comrades (Socialist Chic is the look this fall!), as well as public figures and politicians like Elizabeth Warren, Keegan-Michael Key, and Ben Stiller who have dropped by the protests to pose with a striker sign in solidarity.
3. Marvel, ABC News Team Up For 'Madaya Mom'.
When it comes to the Syrian crisis, most westerners are either not hearing about it, or if we are hearing about it, we are generally very removed from the actual human condition thanks to the way the crisis is typically covered by mainstream media. This week, however, news spread of this rad new comic from a Marvel/ABC News mash-up called “Madaya Mom,” all about a Syrian mom/hero (is there a difference tho??) who fights to save her family from starvation. This comic is based on a *real* mother who told her story of perseverance in Madaya, a war-torn city in Syria. Not only is it genius to connect audiences with a story about this crisis through an accessible medium like a comic, but it’s especially uplifting to see a mother figure getting half the respect she deserves. Not all heroes wear capes, y’all!!!
4. Boko Haram Releases First Group of Abducted Chibok Girls.
You may recall a news story from a couple years back about Michelle Obama tweeting #BringBackOurGirls (‘cause no one on our side of the Atlantic cared about the 200+ missing “Chibok Girls” abducted in Nigeria by extremist/terrorist group Boko Haram until a famous American spoke up about it). This week, for the first time, a group of these girls was recovered from captivity and returned home to their families in Chibok, of the northeastern state of Borno in Nigeria. The girls have shared stories of forced conversion to Islam, near-starvation, forced pregnancies, enslavement, disease, and at least a half-dozen deaths due to neglect. There’s been a lot of speculation about the role of the government and of outside forces like the U.S. in finding the girls and returning them safely to their families; some local people have said they expect most if not all of the women to be sent abroad to complete school so as to avoid the stigma of being a wife of Boko Haram, even though the alliance was obviously forced upon the girls. We’ll be staying updated on the news about the rest of the abducted group, in hopes that this specific ordeal will come to a long-awaited close and Chibok will finally #GetBackTheirGirls.
5. Amy Goodman Arrested, Acquitted For Reporting Dakota Access Pipeline Protest.
Just as boss bae Shailene Woodley was arrested for her fervent engagement in protests at Standing Rock in solidarity with the Sioux Tribe protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, well-respected Democracy Now! journalist Amy Goodman was arrested this week on the grounds that she was trespassing on private land in order to obtain inside footage of police violence against the protestors. A judge ruled against this claim this week, and set Amy free to continue reporting on the story unfolding up north. Quick re-cap: the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota has, for the past several months, been protesting the illegal construction of a massive pipeline that would run through a sacred river and cause environmental destruction to the Tribe and to surrounding areas. This issue comes at an especially pivotal time in U.S. history, wherein so many of us are reassessing the racist and colonial damage done by generations past, and are seeing repeating patterns of abuse coming from the same systems of oppression that have been in power since Europeans landed on North America. In other words, this pipeline is not an isolated incident; it is one in a loooooong string of maltreatment of indigenous peoples globally that must be addressed as such. P.s., did y’all have a nice Indigenous People’s Day? ;)
- Nicki Minaj met Lauryn Hill this week and melted our little feminist hearts.
- Our favorite people ever wrote about our favorite First Lady ever and we are shook.
- Feminist bike riding is ~in~ now. #ProtectTheCrotch
- Bob Dylan is bein' a shady poet and not returning Sweden's calls.
- Sesame Street teamed up with Mark Ruffalo to teach empathy and it's the certified Cutest Thing Ever (patent pending).