October: News Roundup

IN U.S. POLITICS:

Sexism in the 2016 Presidential Election

It’s not new to hear of politicians embroiled in sex scandals or men making lewd comments or sexism in the media, but if you’ve missed any of the above during the 2016 Presidential campaigns, read up on some of the recent news below.

Takeaway: this election cycle has highlighted the larger role of sexism in our society and hopefully all this attention will at least lead to some form of change. IMPORTANT: Don’t forget to vote today!

 

 

Obama’s Legacy Now Includes Sexual Assault Survivor Bill of Rights and Baby Changing Station Mandate

Amidst all the hooplah surrounding the 2016 election, President Obama continues to make changes the help move the feminist movement forward. He recently signed a mandate that would make it a requirement that baby changing stations are made available in all bathrooms of public buildings, even the men’s room. Not just that, but he signed into law the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Rights Act, a piece of legislation that guarantees specific rights for people who have been victimized by a sexual assault.

Takeaway: Whatever your view on politics, these legislative changes are a step forward for gender equality and justice and are a much needed relief in the face of an overwhelming amount of sexism along the 2016 campaign trail. 

SEXUAL ASSAULT & SAFETY:

Standing Against Sexual Harassment

Contrary to the usual video you see of street harassers, in this video a New York man protected a girl from sexual harassment and assault on a bus. The rapper Moise Morency encouraged others to step in when they see similar situations. When police intervened on the bus, Morency was arrested, but was later released.

Takeaway: Everyone can do something to intervene when they see someone in need of help. People cannot continue to ignore these situations and expect the problem to go away.

Ask For Angela

Bars the UK have started getting involved in the safety of their female customers. By simply asking for Angela,  women can get help from the bar staff in getting out of situations that make them feel unsafe. The staff will call for a taxi or help customers get out discreetly. The #NoMore campaign was put into place by Lincolnshire County Council and it raised awareness of sexual violence worldwide in October.

Takeaway: While the need for such codewords is unfortunate, this is one way public businesses can improve the safety and quality of experience for all patrons. 

IN SCIENCE:

Male Birth Control Study Cancelled

This month dozens of articles were published questioning whether contraceptive pills have caused depression in the females taking them. Females have been taking birth control pills for decades without much consideration of the side effects. However this month when a male birth control study included many of the side effects that women face from their birth control, men found them unacceptable. What does this actually mean for male birth control though? Studies on both male and female contraceptive pills do not clearly link depression to the pill. Likely the search for male contraceptives to serve as alternatives to only condoms will continue.

Takeaway: Men and women seem to be held to different standards when it comes to what is acceptable for them to endure. It has historically been the woman’s responsibility to take birth control pills, but male contraceptive pills will work towards having the responsibility split equally between men and women. 

IN ENTERTAINMENT:

Victim Blaming Applies to Celebrities Too – Kim Kardashian’s Paris Robbery

Does a life documented on social media warrant a terrifying attack? That’s what some thought when news broke of Kim Kardashian’s robbery in Paris in early October. Since the event, reports have come out claiming Kardashian blames herself for the attack and she has stayed off her social media channels almost entirely. This isn’t the first time the privacy rights of celebrities has been brought into the spotlight, but up until the attack Kardashian was famous for documenting nearly everything on one social media channel or another.

Takeaway: Celebrities have as much a right to privacy as any other individual, no matter how well documented their lives are. This definitely isn’t the first time this debate has been ignited, but the rise of social media has added an element that makes some people more comfortable blaming the victim. 

AROUND THE WORLD:

International Day of the Girl

October 11th was the International Day of the Girl Child, established by the UN with a mission “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.” It is a 100% youth-led movement for gender justice and youth activism, but people around the world participated to promote awareness and change. The theme for the 2016 was measuring success, highlighting the role of data in reaching the goal to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls around the world by 2030.

Takeaway: Days like this provide a safe space for celebrating the success of the feminist movement around the world, but also remind us that there is much more work to do. Getting younger generations involved is one such way to encourage change and move towards a better future. 

OTHER ITEMS COVERED IN BRIEF:


Did we miss something huge? Let us know! Submissions are always welcome and comments are highly encouraged and will be approved to further discussion as long as they follow our guidelines. Please keep an open mind and respect your fellow humans. 

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