WMC News: The United State of Women, Hillary Clinton, Marital Rape in India, Beyoncé, WMC Live & mor
June 22, 2016
OP-ED USA Today: Clinton Coverage Highlights TV Gender Gap
| June 21, 2016
Hillary makes history and who do you call to chew it over? If you're TV bookers, mostly men.
Usually when history is made, news outlets call upon individuals with unique understanding of the circumstances to interpret the significance of the milestone and explain its consequences — people whom viewers would consider experts.
Apparently on cable news, women political commentators don’t fall into that category. Hillary Clinton made history by winning enough delegates to be the first female presidential nominee from a major party. Yet the conversation and analysis about that historic moment has been delegated primarily to male commentators. More>>
The United State of Women
At the White House Summit on Women — the United State Of Women — our WMC co-founder, Gloria Steinem, discussed the intersections of race and gender on a media panel and our WMC Status of Women in US Media Report, WMC Guide to Covering Reproductive Issues, and WMC Guide to Covering Rape and Rape Culture were shared with women leaders from across the country.
Image description: Obama at the USOW with caption "This is what a feminist looks like".
Changing History to Herstory: Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Women's Movement
| June 17, 2016
Well, we’ve come this far.
For the first time in the history of the United States of America, one of the two major political parties is nominating a woman candidate for the presidency of the nation.
Victoria Woodhull ran for president from the Equal Rights Party in 1872, when women couldn’t vote. Gracie Allen, the comedian, ran to poke fun at the political system; hers was the “Surprise Party,” and her platform was “Redwood Trimmed with Nutty Pine.” Margaret Chase Smith, a Republican senator, tried in 1964 but had difficulty being taken as other than a joke. Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman elected to Congress, ran seriously as a Democrat for the nomination in 1972, but the party chose George McGovern, who lost to Nixon. Representative Patricia Schroeder attempted but never won the Democratic nomination. No woman got this far before.
Indeed, while one party makes history running a woman at the top of its ticket, the other party makes history by running a deeply disturbed, ignorant, sexist, racist authoritarian at the top of theirs. More>>
Image description: Hillary Rodham Clinton speaking to supporters after clinching the Democratic nomination. Photo by Steve Sands/WireImage via Getty Images.
Arrested: 68 Men Responsible for Gang Rapes of Over 50 Children in DRC
An arrest warrant for the suspected ringleader of rapes of at least 50 little girls in Kavumu, DRC, was issued suddenly on Monday night. He was arrested in the early morning hours of Tuesday along with 67 men under his command. These horrifying attacks have been going on for three years. Multiple articles by Lauren Wolfe, Director of WMC Women Under Siege, helped bring this story to light, and on Monday she revealed what she knew the government was sitting on. More>>
WMC Women Under Siege exists to investigate how rape and other forms of sexualized violence are used as tools in genocide and conflict, in the belief that understanding what happened then might help us prevent or prepare for the mass sexual assaults of other conflicts. Work by Wolfe and her team is helping change lives.
'I Was a Servant, a Sex Machine, and a Punching Bag': Why Marital Rape Is Still Legal In India
By Priyali Sur | June 22, 2016
Lights! Camera! Action! The life of a Bollywood stuntwoman outside the realm of film sets and the silver screen caught India’s attention last month when a video done by the lifestyle channel Blush captured her struggle behind the screen. Geeta Tandon spoke about her marriage at the age of 15 and surviving domestic abuse, including rape, from her husband.
“I was a servant, a sex machine and a punching bag present to fulfill his needs,” Tandon says. “I got pregnant at 16, and was briefly happy, thinking it would stop the beatings. But it only got worse.”
Tandon said she tried to leave her husband three times and even complained to the police. There, she said, she was told that “marital fights should be kept within the walls of the house. I stopped trying to register complaints as I had no support.” More>>
Image description: A still from the Blush video shows Geeta Tandon, who left her husband after enduring five years of domestic violence. (Blush/YouTube)
The Problem With Gossiping About Beyoncé and ‘Lemonade’
By David G | June 22, 2016
We are now almost two months into the post-Lemonade universe, and it still seems the biggest public conversation the album has inspired is a debate about the true identity of “Becky with the good hair.”
Look, I can’t say I didn’t have loads of fun with “Sorry” (the song in which Becky is infamously referenced) and Lemonade as a whole. “Becky with the good hair” was my entire Twitter bio for an obscene amount of time and I was undeniably entertained by the tabloid-worthy speculation about the state of Bey’s marriage. I think we’re all at least a little guilty of indulging in this type of gossip. But these conversations not only insult the integrity of Beyoncé’s work, but also ultimately go completely against Lemonade’s very purpose. More>>
Image description: Beyonce's Lemonade album cover with caption "We missed the point."
Praise Young Girls on Being 'Smart,' Not 'Pretty'
| June 21, 2016
For a long time, whenever I pictured an engineer I automatically imagined a guy who looked something like Mark Zuckerberg. I never imagined an engineer could be someone who looks like me. There are likely many causes for my assumption, but perhaps the most influential is the way our society still socializes girls to choose and strive for being beautiful over being intelligent.
Girls who choose to pursue science are perpetually viewed as nerdy loners — as anti-social, undesirable, and uninteresting. These stereotypes are perpetuated by the gender norms at the heart of our societal expectations for girls, which are furthered by the media to which we’re exposed while growing up. More>>
Image description: Pink toy unicorn in girl's hands with caption "We're still sending young girls restrictive, gendered messages."
How the Stanford Survivor Helped Me Understand My Own Assault
By Aya | June 17, 2016
TW: This article contains discussion and description of sexual assault.
In January of 2015, 20-year-old, former Stanford University student Brock Allen Turner sexually assaulted an unconscious woman behind a dumpster outside a frat party. In March of 2016, Turner was charged with three felonies of sexual assault. Prosecutors asked for a 6 year sentence, but he received only 6 months of jail time — and will likely serve even less.
But, despite this injustice, something truly beneficial emerged from this case: Buzzfeed reporter Kate Baker published the survivor’s letter to her attacker, which the anonymous woman had read out loud in court. Reading this letter gave me, and likely countless other survivors, a sense of solidarity with this case: like Emily Doe, I, too, once drank too much at a frat party, and also like her, I also had a voice. But unlike her, my voice became silenced. More>>
Image description: Stanford campus with caption "Rape doesn’t just happen at Stanford."
WMC Live #172: Andi Zeisler, Brenda Berkman, Lauren Wolfe. (Original Airdate 6/18/2016)
Robin on the Orlando massacre and homophobia; also on Trump, guns, and the Stanford rape sentence. Guests: Andi Zeisler warns of commercialized feminism; Brenda Berkman on women firefighters; Lauren Wolfe's Congo report about violence against women. To listen >>
This week WMC SheSource features experts on Brexit, Pride Month, the Senate voting down gun control measures, Donald Trump's campaign money deficit, and Bahrain revoking a Shiite cleric's citizenship.
Sign up to receive regular emails highlighting women experts to speak on newsworthy issues.
The views expressed in this commentary are those of the authors alone and do not represent WMC.
WMC is a 501(c)(3) organization and does not endorse candidates.
To support women journalists who are changing the conversation, donate to the WMC: