In case you missed it: Daily Show’s Response to Street Harassment

Street harassment is something that all women understand. If you’ve experienced it, then you know how obnoxious and disgusting people can be. Jessica Williams from the Daily Show takes on street harassment in this recent segment.

The segment is, of course, littered with idiotic comments from Fox News reporters saying that we should all feel happy that someone found us worthy of a “compliment” and then boohooed about how men in our society are subjected to unfair criticism when they “accidentally” say something sexist.

If you’re unable to view the Daily Show clip linked above, here it is from YouTube. But be warned that the quality of this video from YouTube is pretty bad.

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Louisiana Hospitals Charging Sexual Assault Victims for Testing

Sexual assault victims are still paying thousands of dollars in hospital bills in Louisiana

Even though VAWA was amended in 2005 to include cost-free rape kits to survivors, Louisiana hospitals are still charging patients obscene amounts of money. As everyone knows, these kits have medical and legal merit that cannot be ignored. According to Rebecca Catalanello of and The Times-Picayune, victims are often returning to the ER with hospital bills ranging from a couple hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.

Many of these hospitals are ignoring the right to free testing that victims are entitled to, but in addition to hospitals being negligent, it shows that VAWA has blatant flaws. As Catalanello says, “VAWA covers the costs related to an examination of physical trauma, a determination of penetration or force, a patient interview and collection of evidence.”  Because of this, hospitals are able to charge for extra tests including HIV, pregnancy and STD.

This is an absolute atrocity. For many people, going to the hospital in the first place can be a very difficult and terrifying decision to make, but to add on these insane costs will deter even more victims from coming forward.

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1 is 2 Many PSA

Vice President Joe Biden introduces the new PSA about sexual assault.

After his speech, Biden introduced the new campaign, 1 is 2 Many, with a PSA starring Daniel Craig, Benicio Del Toro, Steve Carell, Seth Meyers and Dulé Hill.

Before playing the PSA, Biden said,

“College and Universities can no longer turn a blind eye and pretend rape and sexual assault doesn’t occur on their campuses. I understand that the good guys in the report, they may feel like they’re damaging the reputations of their schools, I get it. But it doesn’t matter.”

Slight issue

The one problem I have with this PSA is the “mother, daughter, sister” part. Not only does it annoy me, but it also ignores the sexual assault and rape of men.

But very happy to see a PSA like this come out of the White House (and be so supported by multiple big named celebrities) and anything that calls out victim blaming is a total plus!

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Daily Feminist Poems

Feministing honors National Poetry Month by posting a daily feminist poem.

Poetry has been on the rise of internet fame and Feministing is following that trend. This month is National Poetry Month and in honor of that, Feministing is posting a daily feminist poem.

Today’s poem is “To the Man Who Shouted ‘I Like Pork Fried Rice’ at Me on the Street” byFranny Choi.

Another poem from the list is “Shooter“ by Jan Beatty.

Their full series is posted on their site.


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In Case You Missed It: bell hooks and Melissa Harris-Perry Discussion

While this discussion happened back in Nov. 2013, if you missed it, it is definitely worth spending time watching this discussion between these two amazing women.

As the Huffington Post wrote:

What transpired was an exchange of pure brilliance, raw honesty, and smart analysis around a topic not discussed often enough — the plight and experiences of black women.


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According to Veet, Body Hair is Only for Men

Sorry, (heterosexual) ladies! Hate to break it to you, but if you don’t shave, your man will be disgusted by you and think you’re too manly. Or so says Veet in its new “Don’t risk dudeness” campaign.

Veet’s new campaign aired Monday and the other videos are just as ridiculous as the first one. The campaign holds on to the beauty standard that, even though both men and  women naturally grow body hair, women’s bodies should be as hairless as the day they’re born and if they slack on waxing or shaving, they’re hideous.

The videos focus on the awkward glances strangers give her, the reaction of her pedicurist, the reaction from an EMT and her boyfriend, who is absolutely disgusted to be in bed with a man. (Jezebel’s article brings up that this is a pretty homophobic reaction.)

The next one is a woman in an ambulance who didn’t shave. Underneath the video on YouTube, there is a little blurb:

Like mom said, always wear clean underwear and never be unprepared. Avoid dudeness with VEET — easily remove unwanted hair so you stay smooth for up to 28 days! Keep your bikini line in check and your skin feeling silky soft for weeks so you’re never caught off guard.

What do you think of the ads?

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Gender Bias in the Hiring Process

According to a recent study published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, managers of both sexes are twice as likely to hire a male than a female candidate.

The study, which was conducted by business-school professors from Columbia University, Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago, as managers, both male and female, to hire people to handle basic mathematical tasks. The candidates all has equal credentials and skills, but managers of both genders were more likely to hire men.

Throughout the interviews, it was seen that the male candidates boasted about their abilities, while women downplayed them. Even in instances where the tasks were performed equally, men were still more likely to be hired. And what’s worse is, when women were proven to perform better than males, men were still more likely to be hired.

Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, the CEO of gender consulting firm 20-first and author of How Women Mean Business, writes in the Harvard Business Review that this is a typical example of the hiring process.

“Until hiring and promotion practices change, women can ‘lean in’ all they like, graduate in record numbers from top universities, and dominate buying decisions–but they still are much less likely to make it to the top,” Wittenberg-Cox writes in HBR. “The corporate world is led by men confident that they are identifying talent objectively and effectively. The reality, underlined by this and many other reports, is that decision making about talent is rife with unconscious assumptions and personal biases.”

Wittenberg-Cox gives three examples that could help end the gender bias in the hiring process.

Make gender bias a business issue.

If the results of the test don’t bother you initially, think about the fact that underqualified men were hired over more talented women. Wittenberg-Cox says you should reframe gender bias as a business issue, not a women’s issue. “If managers are choosing less qualified men over more qualified women, the company is clearly losing valuable talent,” she writes. “Even if hiring managers are choosing equally qualified men, if they’re doing it in dramatically greater numbers (as the study above shows they do), the company is still missing an opportunity to build the kind of balanced workforce that we know produces more creative results.”

Change people’s minds.

Wittenberg-Cox says leaders need to start educating themselves and managers about the issue of gender bias instead of putting the burden on women to change themselves. “You can expect all your women to suddenly change their behavior and start overselling their skills, as the men in the study above did–but frankly, do you really want them to?” she writes. Research shows when women boast about their skills they are perceived negatively, instead of as confident and ambitious. You need to teach your staff, male and female, about the different behaviors men and women exhibit and how to effectively and accurately perceive them.

Change your hiring process.

If gender bias runs deep in the corporate world, that means HR policies are often rife with bias too. Wittenberg-Cox writes that many large companies consider “ambition” to be an important character trait for their leadership candidates. When candidates are seen as “ambitious,” they’re usually boasting, or overselling their talents–a trait studies have shown to be predominately male, she writes. Hiring managers typically believe erroneously that the most self-promotional candidates are objectively the best. “This does not make room to develop the majority of today’s talent for tomorrow’s world. Nor allow a variety of leadership styles to co-exist,” she adds.

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International Film Festival in St. Paul, Minneapolis Begins

MSPIFF, the largest and longest running film event in the region, began yesterday and will continue until April 19.

MSP International Film Festival annually presents feature length, short form narrative and documentary films from over 60 countries.

Here are trailers from some of the films and the description from the website:

Brave Miss World

Miss Israel Linor Abargil was abducted, stabbed, and raped at age 18. She had to represent her country in the Miss World competition only 6 weeks later. When to her shock she was crowned the winner, she vowed to one day speak out about rape. This verité film follows Linor’’s global travels as she reaches out to other survivors — from American college campuses to the townships of South Africa. But Linor’’s own rape comes back to haunt her when her serial rapist becomes eligible for parole. Brave Miss World follows a remarkable young woman willing to use her own rape as a case study to help others, even while racing against the clock to find her rapist’s’ previous victims who may be able to help her keep him in prison.

Blue Ruin

A beach bum finds his quiet life of collecting plastic bottles upended by some dreadful news that compels him to return home and carry out an act of revenge. Proving to be an inept assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family. Director Jeremy Saulnier’s sophomore feature is a darkly comic downward spiral, underscoring the wicked absurdity of vengeance.

Cycling with Molière

Directed by Philippe Le Guay (The Women on the 6th Floor). Serge Tanneur (Fabrice Luchini, On Guard, Paris, The Women on the 6th Floor, In The House) is at the pinnacle of his acting career when he decides to turn his back on show business and become a hermit living off of France’s Atlantic coast. Three years later, Gauthier Valence (Lambert Wilson, Catwoman, Sahara, Babylon A.D., Of Gods and Men), a beloved TV actor, shows up on the island to offer Serge a role in his directorial debut – a rendition of Molière’s classic play, “The Misanthrope”. Serge refuses at first, but then suggests that they rehearse the first scene and after five days he’ll decide if he wants to do the play or not. What ensues is a battle of brawn and wits and peculiar encounters with a hotel maid who longs to be a porn star and an Italian divorcée.

Half of a Yellow Sun

Based on the book of the same name by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun is a sweeping romantic drama about two twins that is set against the backdrop of the Nigerian Civil War. After receiving an education in England, Olanna, and Kainene return home to a newly-independent Nigeria. Peace, however, is short-lived, and the two women are forced to make some decisions that their privilege did not prepare them for. With elegant performances from Thandie Newton, Anika Noni Rose, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, Biyi Bandele’s debut feature is a richly drawn melodrama of epic perportions

A Year in Champagne

With renowned wine importer Martine Saunier as our guide, we get a rare glimpse behind the scenes into the real Champagne through six houses, from small independent makers like Champagne Saint-Chamant, where each and every bottle is still turned by hand in the cellars, to the illustrious houses of Gosset and Bollinger which have been instrumental in shaping the image of Champagne around the world. In Champagne, they don’t sell Appellations, they sell Brands, many of which have been famous for 200 years.


A tense, gripping thriller about betrayal, suspected and real, in the Occupied Territories. Omar (Adam Bakri) is a Palestinian baker who routinely climbs over the separation wall to meet up with his girl Nadja (Leem Lubany). By night, he’s ready to risk his life to strike at the Israeli military with his childhood friends Tarek (Eyad Hourani) and Amjad (Samer Bisharat). Arrested after the killing of an Israeli soldier and tricked into an admission of guilt by association, he agrees to work as an informant. So begins a dangerous game—is he playing his Israeli handler (Waleed F. Zuaiter) or will he really betray his cause? And who can he trust on either side? Palestinian filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad (Paradise Now) has made a dynamic, action-packed drama about the insoluable moral dilemmas and tough choices facing those on the frontlines of a conflict that shows no sign of letting up.


These are only a few of the films that will be playing. Check out the website for the full list of films.


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Young Children Dressed as Important Women in History

In honor of the last official day of Women’s History Month, here are photos of young children dressed up as important women in history. This photography project is from Because of Them, We Can.



Photographer Eunique Jones began this series last year in honor of Black History Month.

She hopes it will “encourage and empower people of all ages and hues to dream out loud and reimagine themselves as greater than they are, simply by connecting the dots between the past, the present and the future.”







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Caribbean Nations Sue Former Colonizers for Slave Trade

14 Caribbean nations adopt a plan to seek reparations from former colonizers for the lingering effects of the slave trade.

Leaders of Caribbean nations have unanimously agreed on a broad plan to seek reparations from Britain, France and the Netherlands for the ill effects that are still lingering in the nations.

Leigh Day, a law firm who earned $21.5 million for Kenyans who were tortured by the British colonial government during the Mau Mau rebellion in the 50s and 60s, has taken on the case for the nations.

According to Leigh Day, the Caribbean Community wants reparation payments to “repair the persisting ‘psychological trauma’ from the days of plantation slavery and calls for assistance to boost the regions’ technological know-how” since these nations were denied European industrialization and were forced to continue producing and exporting raw materials.

The plan also calls for assistance with public health, educational and cultural institutions.

Martyn Day, of the law firm, says the plan is a “fair set of demands on the governments whose countries grew rich at the expense of those regions whose human wealth was stolen from them.”

The Caribbean Reparations Commission said Monday that far more needed to be done for the descendants of slaves on struggling islands, saying it sees the “persistent racial victimization of the descendants of slavery and genocide as the root cause of their suffering today.”

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