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Double Double Netflix Trouble, Feminist Flicks, and Safer Snuggles

October 30: Badass women and the news that affects them

 

About Last Week

Last week saw an appalling surge of hate with the deadly shootings at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue and a Kentucky Kroger, bombs being mailed by a fanatic to perceived enemies of President Trump, and the election of an alt-right Brazilian president. We want to urge the InHerSight community to stay safe and be gentle with yourselves in the wake of these traumatic events. It’s important in times of tragedy and unrest to build support networks and check in on one another. Our thoughts are with all who are affected.

Company Culture

  • Despite Netflix’s hiccup this summer when its Chief Communications Officer used a racial slur, the company quickly bounced back, firing the offender and easily maintaining its reputation of having a strong, open company culture. But employees told the Wall Street Journal that they have mixed feelings about Netflix’s insistence on transparency. On the one hand, they said it’s nice to have an open, respectful work environment, but others said it’s more akin to a “culture of fear.” Plus, certain perks Netflix once offered have become unsustainable as the company expands — like its maternity and paternity leave, which used to be a whole year, now scaled back to 4-8 months. The Wall Street Journal

  • HBO will hire “intimacy coordinators” for all its shows to help keep actors comfortable and safe during sex scenes. This position was created during filming of “The Deuce,” a drama about the porn industry, and was so successful the media company decided to hire an intimacy coordinator for all its TV offerings. In the era of #MeToo and #TimesUp, HBO is demonstrating the kind of changes needed to make the entertainment industry safer. Refinery29

  • Lyft and Uber will both provide free rides on Election Day nationwide! Fortune

Quick Hits

  • Sandra Day O’Connor, who in 1981 made history by becoming the first woman justice on the Supreme Court, announced last week that she has been diagnosed with dementia. O’Connor, 88, said in her letter: "I will continue living in Phoenix, Arizona, surrounded by dear friends and family. While the final chapter of my life with dementia may be trying, nothing has diminished my gratitude and deep appreciation for the countless blessings in my life." The New York Times

  • Breast cancer is less prevalent in Black women, yet they make up 40 percent of deaths from the disease. Why? A new study suggests expensive post-surgical treatments that must be taken for years after the fact, lack of health insurance, and strained relationships with doctors may be to blame. NPR

  • Women are less optimistic about the economy than men are, according to a New York Times article. About 47 percent of men said their family finances have improved over the past year, but only 30 percent of women agreed. Democrats are less likely to feel optimistic about the economy than Republicans, but the trend of women feeling more uneasy than men holds true amongst the right as well. The New York Times

  • In an apparent continuation of the Trump Administration’s efforts to erase transgender-inclusive language, U.S. officials at the United Nations are looking to replace mentions of the word “gender” — mostly with the word “woman.” An example of this kind of change would be saying “violence against women” instead of “gender-based violence.” The Guardian

Entertainment: Hello, Halloween!

  • Surprisingly, horror as a genre tends to feature more women characters and storylines than its non-scary counterparts (yay!). But horror falls short when it comes to including women in the filmmaking process, and that imbalance can be observed in some of the common tropes of the genre that objectify female characters (cue the overabundance of shower scenes or only sparing the lives of virginal characters). Longreads

  • So, what is a spooky-movie-loving feminist to do? For starters, you can check out this list of chilling woman-centric horror flicks recommended by Mother Jones. But, here’s one more that should make the cut. “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” by Iranian-director Ana Lily Amirpour -- dubbed “the first Iranian vampire Western" -- is sure to delight film buffs with its dreamy shots and heady music sequences. Plus, its depiction of strong female characters, as both villains and heroes (complete with chador and hijab!), is important representation to bust the stereotype of the meek Middle Eastern woman. Mother Jones

  • For those seeking a more nostalgic watch for Halloween, Netflix’s “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” is deliciously darker than its predecessor and features more witchcraft, more teen feminism, and more characters of color. I’ve only watched the first episode so far, but this highly-anticipated remake fulfilled all my witchy flights of fancy. Wired

Around the World

  • Sahle-Work Zewde has been appointed the first woman president in Ethiopia. Although her role as president is largely ceremonial (the prime minister in Ethiopia holds most of the executive power), Sahle-Work will wield the power to appoint ambassadors, receive foreign envoys, and grant pardons. NPR

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced Monday that she will step down as leader of her party, the Christian Democratic Union, and won’t seek re-election. Her current term runs through 2021, which she expects to see through. NPR

  • Canada will seek to renegotiate NAFTA to include a greater focus on gender equality, Canadian officials say. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has defended the effort against claims that incorporating gender in the agreement is unnecessary by pointing out that gender inequality is a fundamental economic issue. Prime Minister, we’re inclined to agree. Fortune

By Mitra Norowzi

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