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WMC News: Breast Cancer, Refugees in Greece, Lou Dobbs & Doxing, Girls in Tech, WMC Live & More

October 19, 2016

Think Pink? Think Again

Handgun sold as part of "breast cancer awareness kit"

By Karuna Jaggar | October 18, 2016

Each October, we face a tidal wave of pink ribbon products and promotions. Everything from the NFL to Niagara Falls goes “pink for breast cancer.” But despite all the awareness and all the money raised, breast cancer remains an urgent public health crisis and a critical social justice issue. While corporations make billions off the disease, we have not seen nearly enough progress in breast cancer treatment, prevention, and survival, or in addressing inequities in access to treatment.

The numbers are grim. Each year, 250,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. Up to one-third of all breast cancers will metastasize (spread beyond the breast into the rest of the body); it is metastatic breast cancer that kills women. Black women are 40 percent more likely to die of breast cancer than their white counterparts. And each year, 40,000 women die of breast cancer, despite all the awareness and pink ribbons.

The pink ribbon, arguably the most successful cause marketing initiative in history, was born as a cooptation of grassroots activism. The original breast cancer ribbon was not pink, and it stood for breast cancer prevention, not the vague “awareness” of the pink ribbon. In the early 1990s, a 68-year-old woman named Charlotte Haley—whose grandmother, sister, and daughter had all had breast cancer—was alarmed by the number of breast cancer diagnoses in her family and her southern California community. She wanted to draw attention to the issue, -- More >>

Image description: Handgun sold as part of a "breast cancer awareness kit"


WMC Women Under Siege logo

She survived ISIS, smugglers, and dolphins, but now faces her biggest challenge

Iman al-Jabouri, an Iraqi refugee in Greece (Lauren Wolfe)

By Lauren Wolfe | October 17, 2016

The air is stuffy by default. Soap, especially laundry soap, is usually a rare commodity among refugees. Add to the muddle of unwashed smells a buzzing from black flies, nearly 100 degree heat, and dark, polyester clothes that cover from head to toe, and life inside a makeshift container on the Greek island of Samos is an unpleasant one, thick with defeat.

In this particular container lives Iman al-Jabouri, 38, her husband, who has diabetes, and her 20-year-old son and three smaller children. Four other children remain behind in Iraq because there wasn’t enough money to take them all—a common story among refugees. The family fled Ramadi, in central Iraq, in mid-March, after her brother-in-law was kidnapped and killed by unknown men. After that, her own brother, 16, was abducted by ISIS. He was starved and beaten for three days, she learned after the family paid to get him back. “He still suffers psychologically,” she says.

Ramadi has endured widespread devastation in the battle to take back control from the Islamic State over the past couple years. We hear about women being enslaved by ISIS, but that is only part of the suffering residents in ISIS-controlled areas endure. There are also regular bombings, executions, kidnappings, and torture. Technically, the Iraqi government defeated ISIS in Ramadi in 2015, but the group remains in the area, according to news reports. -- More>>

Image description: Iman al-Jabouri, an Iraqi refugee in Greece (Lauren Wolfe)


WMC Speech Project logo

Doxing 101: What to Do About Lou Dobbs’ Irresponsible Tweeting?  

Fox Business News -- Lou Dobbs

By Soraya Chemaly | October 19, 2016

Last Wednesday, the New York Times published an article in which 74-year old Jessica Leeds described Donald Trump, with whom she was sharing a flight 30 years ago, grabbing her breasts and attempting to put his hand up her skirt.  One day later, one of Fox Business’ most popular hosts, Lou Dobbs, retweeted a tweet that contained what appeared to be the details of Leeds’ phone number and home address.

What the original tweeter, the website that shared her address, and Dobbs did is called doxing: searching for and sharing private information, or information that can be used to identify a person online. Usually, but not always, doxing is done for the purposes of intimidation or threat. This week, for example, the home addresses of journalists were shared on an 8chan board where the list, commentary, suggestions for targeting people for threats and pranks, are littered with racism and anti-Semitism.

Regardless of whether or not Dobbs had malicious intent, given the context and his audience, the retweet to a mass following constituted a dog-whistle for online harassment that is seamlessly connected to offline violence. The kind routinely implicated in silencing and threatening women who come forward, as in this instance, with stories of assault. More >>

Image description: Screen grab of Lou Dobbs page on Fox Business News website

Innovation, Equality, and Women in STEM: An Interview with Adriana Gascoigne

Adriana Gascoigne

By Angela Liu | October 17, 2016

I first met Adriana Gascoigne, the CEO of global nonprofit Girls in Tech — an organization that focuses on the engagement, education and empowerment of women and girls pursuing careers in STEM fields — in July. She was in San Francisco in between trips to New Zealand and London – just two of the many countries she travels to each year to spread the word about the importance of getting girls into STEM fields. And her hard work is clearly paying off: Since it was founded in 2007, Girls in Tech now has over 50,000 members in 60 chapters on seven continents.

Adriana’s passion and commitment to increasing the presence of women in technology and entrepreneurship inspires me to do better by the girls who haven’t had access to the same opportunities that I have been so fortunate to come by as a young female founder myself. Whether through mentorship, funding opportunities, or educational workshops, strengthening the support systems available for girls and women in STEM fields is crucial to not only getting them careers in the first place, but keeping them in those fields long-term. Adriana has truly taken the responsibility to work on increasing diversity and equality in the workplace to heart, and was kind enough to discuss her experiences with me.  More >>

Image description: Adriana Gascoigne


WMC Live #183: Bonnie Thunders and Ariel Assault, Jane Chen. (Original Airdate 10/16/2016)

Robin on a free press, sexual assault as the tipping point issue, and women making history with the #NotOkay revolution. Guests: Speed stars Bonnie Thunders and Ariel Assault of Gotham Girls Roller Derby; Jane Chen on her life-saving invention. Listen here >>

This week WMC SheSource features experts on the robust ongoing discussion of sexual assault in the media, the Iraqi action to take back Mosul from ISIS, the return of twenty-one Nigerian schoolgirls after two years of being Boko Haram captives, claims that the 2016 Presidential election is rigged, rich countries keeping their promise to pay developing nations to tackle climate change, and Planned Parenthood turning 100.

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