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Women in the News + India's Sky-High Milestone

September 3: Badass women and the news that affects them

Mitra Norowzi

Company Culture

  • The movie industry has (slowly, but surely) been making efforts to diversify its craft, from hiring more women filmmakers to telling more woman-centric stories, but its sister industry, film criticism, has been slow to follow suit. As an institution, film criticism has stubbornly remained largely white and male. To amplify the voices of women critics, online review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes approved more than 600 new reviewers as official ‘top critics,’ more than half of whom are women. Additionally, the site has also committed $100,000 over the next year to help its new recruits attend screenings and festivals. Bloomberg

  • Alexo Athletica, an activewear brand known for its signature “carrywear” leggings and pants (they can hold multiple small “protection tools” like a Taser, pepper spray, or even a loaded firearm provided that it’s smaller than 23 ounces) has partnered with Fox Nation host Tomi Lahren to offer a sportswear line called “Freedom.” An ardent gun rights proponent, the right-wing pundit is notorious for making inflammatory remarks from equating the Black Lives Matter movement with the KKK to hassling the teenage survivors of the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. And despite the line’s patriotic imagery utilizing star designs and a burgundy, navy, and white color scheme, it’s actually manufactured in China. Vox 

  • Goop, the wellness empire headed by Gwyneth Paltrow, doesn’t make any formal (Read: legal) endorsements of the health products and services on its site, but the brand has faced criticism for unsubstantiated health claims, notably settling a $145,000 lawsuit over its claim that jade and rose-quartz eggs could balance hormones and regulate menstrual cycles. However, Goop remains a leading presence in the wellness industry. The Atlantic’s Amanda Mull decided to try $1,279 worth of Goop’s products for herself to understand why. The Atlantic 

Quick Hits 

  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand may have become the first woman out of the six running for the 2020 Democratic nomination to dop out of the race, but her campaign was undoubtedly significant. Gillibrand campaigned on more explicitly feminist messaging than any other candidate, and the moments when that message did (and didn’t) resonate with viewers told us a lot about how women’s campaigns will be percieved moving forward. NY Times

  • Sexual harassment isn’t about men being unable to control their desire for women. It’s always been a tool carefully utilized to establish dominance—and here’s proof. A Harvard Business Review study found that sexual harassment claims in the workplace increase significantly during periods where men face higher rates of unemployment compared to women. The findings validate, and connect with, earlier research that found that men are more likely to sexually harass women when their masculinity is threatened. HBR

  • Happy belated Labor Day! Did you know that support for labor unions is higher than it’s been in 50 years with 64 percent of respondents to a 2019 Gallup poll viewing them favorably? Recent developments to start unions at companies across the country suggest that white-collar unions may rise in popularity—and collective action might actually be the best practice for self-care to fight against burnout. Quartz

Around the World

  • India: Another glass ceiling has been smashed as the Indian Air Force commissioned Shaliza Dhami as its very first woman flight commander. Dhami is also the first woman to be granted permanent commission for a long tenure in the IAF after a March 2019 ruling gave women equal opportunity in all branches of the Indian Army. Vice

  • Brazil: The wildfires raging in the Amazon have tormented those of us fearful at the prospect of imminent climate change, but for the indigenous people who call the region their home, the fires threaten their very way of life. CNN interviews Chief Ajareaty Waiapi about the many risks Brazil’s ecological and political minefields pose to her people. CNN

  • Romania: Women have long served as the keepers of memory in their communities, and perhaps nowhere is that tradition best exemplified than in the "wailers" of Romania. Here, in the small village of Romuli, a small group of elderly women still gather to attend every local funeral to loudly cry and sing songs out of an 80-year-old book to let families of the dead know that they aren’t alone in their grief. And despite efforts from the town’s Orthodox church to keep them away, the women, all of whom served as Patriotic Guards in a voluntary paramilitary group, resolutely say they, and their wailing, aren’t going anywhere. Vice

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