September: News Roundup

IN GOVERNMENT:

The Presidential Debate

The presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton  continued to show the double-standard present for women in politics and the public eye. Women are twice as likely to be interrupted as men are, a fact that was easily shown proven as Trump interrupted Clinton 51 times during the debate, while she only interrupted him 17 times.

Many people are not fans of either major candidate in this election, but with Clinton running, people are calling into question why there are so many who don’t like her. For some she doesn’t seem “presidential” enough or her history dissuades them, and thus far there have only ever been male U.S. presidents. Trump tried to explain how Clinton does not look presidential, and concluded by saying she doesn’t have the stamina or the temperament. Cue the shimmy response that took the internet by storm.

Takeaway: With National Voter Registration Day just past on Sept. 27th, everyone’s vote matters more than ever. This election has become one where many will vote based on the lesser of two evils, but being educated and aware of each candidate’s past and proposals for the future are of utmost importance.

Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights

Congress passed an act that will create a standard for the rights of sexual assault survivors. All it needs now is President Barack Obama’s signature after the unanimous vote. This act will reform the way the criminal justice system handles sexual assault, including the right to a sexual assault evidence collection kit, to be told of the results and to be notified in writing before the kit is destroyed.

Takeaway: All parties came together in agreement on this act. This shows how many people see that the way our society handles sexual assault and rape cases needs to change.

Planned Parenthood Permanently Protected

The new rule means that family planning organizations cannot lose funding because they provide abortion services or for any political reasons. Planned Parenthood will still be able to assist women in all of their healthcare. Funds from Title X can only be withheld based on the provider’s “ability to deliver services to program beneficiaries in an effective manner.

Takeaway: This is a huge step forward in providing accessible healthcare to women around the country during a tumultuous political period.

POWERFUL WOMEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT:

Emma Watson’s United Nations Speech on Sexual Assault

Takeaway: This month also marks HeForShe’s second year anniversary and Emma Watson continues to power forward publicly fighting for equality. She is on a roll this month, having also released a short film entitled “Hurdles.” 

2016 Emmy’s Were Huge for Women

The Emmy’s this month were especially great for queer women, with Transparent’s Jill Soloway calling for the entertainment industry to “give trans talent a chance” and for everyone to “topple the patriarchy” during her acceptance speech for directing “Man on the Land.”American Horror Story star, Sarah Paulson praised Marcia Clark and Holland Taylor during her own acceptance speech – highlighting both her appreciation for other women in her profession and providing viewers with a model of a loving female relationship. To top it all off, Kate McKinnon won an award for featured actress in a comedy series and gave everyone another reason to appreciate her presence as a newfound queer icon in Ghostbusters and as the first openly lesbian cast member on SNL, while also thanking Ellen DeGeneres and Hillary Clinton during her speech.

Takeaway: This year’s Emmy’s event highlighted the impact women and the queer community have on entertainment and just how much talent is missed when they are not included. Despite such a wonderful celebration, the behind the scenes world of entertainment still does not reflect these changes

Gigi Hadid Fights Back When Attacked

While leaving the Max Mara show during Milan Fashion Week, Gigi Hadid was grabbed and picked up by a strange man. She immediately put her boxing skills to use and fought back enough to get him to let her go and run away, all while her bodyguards and bystanders watched. In the time since video surfaced of this assault, many have praised Hadid for swiftly protecting herself. Unfortunately, much of the media coverage has positioned the attacker as a “fan” or a “prankster,” belittling the attack. Hadid has since released statements via Twitter thanking her boxing coach and encouraging other girls to prepare to protect themselves.

Despite having already achieved his 15 minutes of fame, the attacker recently reappeared by harassing Kim Kardashian too.

Takeaway: Celebrities are indeed human beings too, and they have just as much a right to privacy and personal space as anyone else. While Hadid took matters into her own and Kardashian’s bodyguards were quick to respond, these attacks shouldn’t be happening in the first place. 

 

IN ACADEMIA:

Sexual Assault Cases in Academic Settings Continue to Pile Up

A week after Brock Turner was released from jail, a student at the University of Richmond, Virginia wrote a moving piece about her own similar experience. She describes how UR mishandled her sexual assault case, and since publishing it’s only gotten messier. Originally told by a UR administrator that they “thought it was reasonable for [the perpetrator] to penetrate you for a few more minutes if he was going to finish,” this woman is now being branded a liar by the university in their response, despite the evidence and receipts she has to back up her experience with the assault and the aftermath.

Unfortunately, this story is not unfamiliar. A New Jersey student committed suicide earlier this month after her university failed to fully investigate her reported rape. Recently released, the documentary “Audrie and Daisy” looks at sexual assault through the stories of two young girls. A UNC Chapel Hill student came forward to discuss her rape by a football player and “did everything a rape victim is supposed to do…but six months later the University has done nothing.”

Takeaway: It’s not new to hear a story about some athlete being accused of rape and getting off scot-free, but that in and of itself is a problem. While these cases are more openly discussed than in the past and occasionally receive national media attention, still very little is done to punish the perpetrators. 

OTHER ITEMS COVERED IN BRIEF:

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2 thoughts on “September: News Roundup

  1. As usual a terrific compilation of material!

    I am surprised that you didn’t dig a bit deeper on the question of “why so may people don’t like” Hillary Clinton. For people like me, the reason has nothing to do with her gender, and everything to do with her history (30+ years of corruption, deceit, and hostility towards women). Here’s a partial list: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/09/tracking-the-clinton-controversies-from-whitewater-to-benghazi/396182/

    And this, which shows the money connection: http://www.breitbart.com/clinton-cash-movie/

    These kinds of activities are enough to disqualify a person, male or female, from being the president.

    Like

    • Thanks for the comment and article links! Always good to dig a little deeper and get a variety of perspectives.
      – Charlotte

      Like

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