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WMC News: #WhoTalks, African American History Museum, Nicki Minaj, WMC Live & More

November 2, 2016

National Museum for African-American History and Culture

#WhoTalks Project Releases October Numbers Just Ahead of Election Day

CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” continues to outpace other major network shows in the representation of women analysts discussing the 2016 U.S. presidential election, according to new figures from the #WhoTalks project.

In October, women were 46 percent of guests on “Anderson Cooper 360”, compared to 54 percent for men. Other shows surveyed were “New Day” on CNN; “Fox & Friends” and “The Kelly File” on Fox News and “The Rachel Maddow Show” and “Morning Joe” on MSNBC.

The project — launched in March — is designed to draw critical attention to guests on the morning and primetime shows, challenging the media organizations that exhibit gender imbalance during the U.S. presidential election and commending those that make including women’s voices a priority. The project, which is a partnership between the Women’s Media Center, GenderAvenger and Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics, will conclude after Tuesday’s election. More >>

Image description: Infographic for October's #WhoTalks


African American History Museum Does Justice to Women

A'Lelia Bundles, author of "On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker," donated items from her great-great-grandmother to the museum.

By Yanick Rice Lamb | October 28, 2016

Like a tsunami, the highs and lows of the past rush over visitors to the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. It isn’t so much that the information is news to us, but we aren’t used to being hit with so much of it at once.

As one misty-eyed woman visitor put it, “They told it all”—from Black Power to #BlackLivesMatter.

They told the good, the bad, and the downright ugly, but it’s an inspiring kind of sensory overload that makes you want to come back for more.

The curators start the story below ground, evoking the feeling of being in the bowels of slave ships that stole our ancestors from Africa. Through a glass wall of a descending elevator, time travels in reverse as the years roll back to the 1400s.

Walls on the lower level tally the millions of Africans that Portugal, Spain, France, and other countries pushed through the Middle Passage. The evidence is also there in tiny shackles, a sparse cabin, slave narratives, and instruments of torture.

They told it all—deeply in some places, but with broad and sometimes light strokes in others. More>>

Image description: A'Lelia Bundles, author of "On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker," donated items from her great-great-grandmother to the museum.


How A Nicki Minaj Concert Was A Little Like The New African American History Museum

National Museum for African-American History and Culture

By Mankaprr Conteh | November 2, 2016

Two incredibly breathtaking, incredibly black things happened to me last weekend. First, I attended the TidalX1015 concert benefiting the Robin Hood Foundation. Then, I visited the newly inaugurated National Museum for African-American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, D.C. the very next day.

I had only found out that I would be attending the TidalX1015 concert and visiting the new museum a few days before my trip. A certain, relatively well-known teacher of mine was taking her radically experimental class to New York and DC to presumably learn about educational policy and black history. She invited me, her intern and mentee, to tag along.

But this certain teacher of mine loves a good surprise. She sent us the trip’s itinerary just two days before her class prepared for the rather grueling bus ride from Wake Forest University in North Carolina, to Brooklyn, New York. When I opened my email and found that I would soon be shouting the lyrics to “Feeling Myself” along with Nicki Minaj, as well as a slew of my other favorite artists, my cheeks ached from smiling. When I read that we would gain four-hour access to the incredibly booked NMAAHC the next day, my heart ached. I felt overwhelmed by the power of the opportunities we’d been granted. More >>

Image description: National Museum for African-American History and Culture


Witchcraft: Dispelling Myths and Uncovering Radical Truths

Credit: Corinne Singer

By Corinne Singer | October 31, 2016

Halloween is the perfect time to reflect on the increasing popularity of witchcraft— or at the very least, the perceived aesthetics of witchcraft that many champion on platforms like Instagram. The rising visibility of witchcraft over the last few decades can also be traced across TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Charmed, Witches of East End, the Vampire Diaries, and more.

Although witchcraft is gaining visibility in popular culture, it is often greatly misrepresented. Before my senior year of high school, I had never known that witchcraft represents both a historical and widespread spiritual practice.

The more I read about the occult, however, the more I realized how the practice coincides with radical feminism. As such, I present a series of true/ false statements about witchcraft for you this Halloween. More>>

Image description: Red candles in the dark (Credit: Corinna Singer)


What All Young Women Should Know About the Pill  

The truth about birth control

By Gabby Catalano | October 28, 2016

When my gynecologist said I needed to go on birth control pills at the age of 13, my mother was ecstatic. I’d been skipping multiple days of school every month since my period had started one year earlier — every month, I experienced nausea, overeating, mind-numbing cramps, and the type of bleeding that ruins denim jeans and a sensitive middle-school ego.

Little did I know, I wasn’t the only woman who felt this way about the joy that is having one’s period. A big reason I didn’t know was because my middle school health teacher decided to skip the sex education chapter, and with that chapter a loss of vital reproductive health information. My middle school friends and I rode the never-ending roller coaster of menstruation blindfolded.

I was also unaware how common taking the pill is among young women my age: In fact, about 79% of young women have used the pill or some form of contraception. But while many take it to help their bodies — whether for its health benefits or to prevent pregnancy — many are unaware that there are side effects, too. More >>

Image description: Birth control pills with caption "The truth about birth control"


WMC Live #185: Sophia Yen, Wendy Warren. (Original Airdate 10/30/2016)

Robin on furious GOP women fighting misogyny, the ways campaign bigotry is affecting kids, and how sexism and racism are intertwined. Guests: Dr. Sophia Yen on teen sexuality and contraceptives; Wendy Warren on her book about slavery in the US North. Listen here >>

This week WMC SheSource features experts on the FBI Director’s decision to comment on the ongoing election, the continuing protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the House and Senate races, the end of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Lebanon electing Michel Aoun as president after two years of the seat being empty.

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