WMC News: Bosnia-Herzegovina, THINX, Brexit, Women’s Media Awards, WMC Live & more!
July 28, 2016
In the Fight Against Rape in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Where Are the Men?
By Janine Natalya Clark/Guest Blogger | July 25, 2016
To paraphrase one of Friedrich Nietzsche's most-cited sayings, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” Rape and sexualized violence can kill, but those who survive it may emerge stronger. They need strength to testify against their perpetrators in court, strength to tell their husbands what happened, strength to carry on with their lives.
When Fatima*, a woman I interviewed in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) in 2014, finally mustered the courage to tell her husband that she was raped during the 1992-95 Bosnian War, he left the house. He returned home several hours later, but said nothing about what his wife had disclosed to him. Since then, the two have never spoken about the rape.
Dženana, another woman who agreed to talk to me, said it took her seven years to tell her husband what happened to her because she feared his reaction. Although he was initially supportive, he has become increasingly bitter. He wants to know, she said, why rape survivors can secure a monthly social payment as civilian victims of the Bosnian war while camp survivors like him receive nothing. More>>
Image description: Bosnian activist Nusreta Sivac addresses a crowd, speaking about how she was raped in a camp during the war in 1992. (Lee Bryant)
SHE-E-O: THINX Founder & CEO Miki Agrawai on Feminism, Entrepreneurship, & the Future
| July 27, 2016
You may have seen or heard about the subway ads for the period panties THINX, featuring a super-yonic-looking grapefruit — or maybe you just followed the ridiculous controversy about those ads. Perhaps you’ve been lucky enough to try the revolutionary underwear that keeps you leak-free and worry-free while you’re on your period. Either way, it’s clear the period revolution is here, and a woman is leading it. Her name is Miki Agrawal, and she’s the badass She-E-O and co-founder of the aforementioned company that’s disrupting the $15 billion feminine hygiene industry: THINX.
After Miki Agrawal graduated from Cornell, she went into the finance industry and worked for Deutsche Bank. On the morning of September 11, 2001, she slept through her alarm and didn’t make it into the office — which was located across the street from Ground Zero. After that life shaking experience, Agrawal wrote down three things she wanted to do with her life and set out to make it happen. She hasn’t stopped since.
A self-proclaimed “serial social entrepreneur,” Miki Agrawal is also the force behind NYC restaurant concept Wild (making healthy, gluten-free pizza waaaaay before that was even a thing), author of the in-your-face, take-charge-of-your life book and movement, Do Cool Sh*t, founder of the easy-to-use bidet toilet attachment, Tushy, and mind behind Icon, pee-proof underwear for postnatal women.
If you’re not totally fascinated and impressed by Agrawal yet, read on. More>>
Image description: Miki Agrawal
An Open Letter to Principals Enforcing Sexist Dress Codes
| July 25, 2016
To My Middle School Principal (And to School Administrators Alike),
I’ve observed from afar, with horror and disgust, as you’ve punished young girls for their school attire. Nearly every day my little brother comes home and shares that another girl has been interrupted, pulled out of class, and sent to the office only to be reprimanded for her clothing. While I understand the attempt to maintain a “serious academic environment,” you are completely butchering your execution of this goal.
Creating a focused, educational environment is a vision that is contingent upon the comfort and inclusion of all students. A truly thriving educational community is an inclusive community, which requires the full embrace of every member’s whole self. By demonizing developing girls and their bodies, you effectively reduce girls to roadblocks in boys’ paths to education and success. If boys are distracted by girls’ bodies in their fabulous shorts or incredibly comfortable leggings, you should address the fact that boys are demonstrating an inability to focus on their school work. Teach boys that they are accountable for their own sexual desire. More>>
Image description: Girl with sign that reads "I would much rather be the 'obnoxious feminist girl' than be complicit in my own dehumanization. Your dress code is sexist and promotes rape culture." Credit: @rachel_venneri
What Young People Need to Know About Brexit
| July 22, 2016
When I heard about the UK referendum that took place in June, I thought the possibility of the UK leaving the EU must be a joke. I expected the population to vote to stay in the EU and I wasn’t alone. But the citizens of the UK decided to exit, shocking and shaking the world, and sparking a great deal of uncertainty by doing so. While the news of this event has mostly focused on the resulting political fallout and worldwide economic tumult, Brexit will also have a profound influence on a group the mainstream media rarely covers: the record number of refugees worldwide.
For the past year, Europe has been profoundly affected by a widespread refugee crisis. This crisis was primarily sparked by a civil war between the so-called rebels and the Assad regime in Syria. Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee their home countries as it has become increasingly dangerous for them to stay.
Over the course of this influx, attitudes towards migration have hardened all over Britain, the E.U., and which have also become particularly apparent during the recent election campaigns in the U.S. More>>
Image description: Union Jack overlayed over European Union flag with words "In/Out"
WMC Live #177: Maria Teresa Kumar, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström. (Original Airdate 7/23/2016)
Sat, 23 July 2016 WMC Live #177: Maria Teresa Kumar, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström. (Original Airdate 7/23/2016) Season Finale. Robin on the GOP platform, Pence, Melania Trump's plagiarized speech—and Megyn Kelly vs. Roger Ailes. Guests: Maria Teresa Kumar on the Latino/Latina vote; Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström on Sweden's feminist foreign policy. To listen >>
This week WMC SheSource features experts on the DNC email leak, the Democratic National Convention, the bombing at a music festival in Ansbach, Germany, the shooting in front of a Fort Myers club, and Verizon buying Yahoo.
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