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Not-OK Cupid, Crazy Rich Representation, Steph Curry Scores With Women, and More

August 20: Badass women and the news that affects them

Quick Hits

  • This week, we’re all mourning the passing of Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin. Franklin’s life as an artist and activist touched the lives of many, and her loss is being felt deeply across generations and communities. The New York Times

  • Online dating has felt like a total paradigm shift in the institution of courting. But is it really so different from what came before? Awkward speed dating rounds were simply replaced with equally impersonal swiping. And trends like ageism are still alive and well. A new study has found that among online dating communities, a man’s desirability peaks at about 50, but a woman’s desirability peaks at just 18, and falls sharply from there. The results support those of a 2010 study by OKCupid which found that men age 22-30 focus almost entirely on women younger than them, and the average 30-year-old spends as much time messaging teenagers as they do women their own age. Lovely. The New York Times

  • Speaking of online dating, Bumble has launched a female-focused venture capital fund. PitchBook

  • NBA star Stephen Curry supported women this week by hosting a girls-only free basketball camp. Curry told the Associated Press that his goal is to “to reach out to the next generation of basketball players from all different ages, all different skill levels, boys and girls.” Associated Press

  • The film “Crazy Rich Asians,” featuring an all-Asian cast premiered to great success, rising to the number-one spot in the box office. The film has been the most successful PG-13 romantic comedy in six years, proving that diversity does indeed sell. Telegraph

  • SurveyMonkey has now achieved gender parity in its 10-person board after appointing Erika Hayes James. James was the first Black woman to be named the dean of a business school when she became dean of Emory University’s business school. Fast Company

  • A study by Burning Glass Technologies and the nonprofit Strada Institute for the Future of Work is unraveling the problems of underemployment — or working a job that doesn’t require your degree or other qualifications. It found that about four out of 10 recent college graduates are underemployed and two-thirds of them will still be working at low-skilled jobs. The issue is even more dire for women: they are more likely to be underemployed in the first place and even less likely to escape the cycle. Fortune

In the News

Abuser or Abused? It’s Possible to Be Both

Italian actress and director Asia Argento is one of the leading women in the #MeToo movement and was one of the first actresses to speak out about abuse suffered at the hands of Harvey Weinstein. But only months after she spoke out about Weinstein, she was quietly arranging to pay Jimmy Bennett, a young actor and musician $380,000 in settlement after he accused her of sexually assaulting him in a hotel room when he was only 17 years old. This is a developing story, but one that complicates the narrative for sure, and challenges us to remember that women can sometimes be predators, too. The New York Times

Studying Hate

For most of us, I think we’d agree that misogyny can be just as severe as other forms of radical hate, like white supremacy. But people mistakenly treat sexism as a casual symptom of the internet. What they don’t realize is that resentment against women doesn’t merely bubble up on isolated dark web message boards these days. Misogyny on the internet manifests into real-life attacks on women by “incels,” or men who describe themselves as “involuntarily celibate” and blame women for that fact. Back in April, one of these so-called incels killed 10 people by driving down a busy street in Toronto in the name of an “Incel Rebellion,” and it wasn’t the first time. Everyday women experience, rape, assault, and violence — and we’re supposed to act like that isn’t out of the ordinary.

But, finally, the Anti-Defamation League has stepped up to take this violence against women seriously. League members have released a comprehensive report studying woman-haters, and what they found disturbed them. The report, in no uncertain terms, has classified hatred of women as a violent form of radical hate, and it’s the first of its kind to do so.  

“Every day, as virulent white supremacists make their hatred known, we immediately and rightly call them extremists. We have not been nearly as unequivocal when it comes to men who express their violent anger and loathing towards women,” the report states. It continues to establish a link between these two grouping saying “there is a robust symbiosis between misogyny and white supremacy; the two ideologies are powerfully intertwined.” Cosmopolitan

Historic Primary Wins

Last week saw significant victories for women of several different groups. Democratic candidate for governor in Vermont Christine Hallquist did win her primary, making her the first openly transgender candidate to be nominated for governorship by a major party. Jahana Hayes, a teacher, is set to become the first Black congressperson from Connecticut after winning her primary. Muslim women also won big when Minnesota state Rep. Ilhan Omar won the nomination for the state’s House of Representatives seat. Politico

Around the World

  • Pregnant, elderly, and disabled subway riders in Tokyo can now use the app Line to request someone give them their seat without facing an awkward interaction. Using the app, passengers can indicate if they’d be willing to give up their seat to someone who needs it more. When someone comes along who does need one, they can request it and the app will select one of the willing seat-sharers. The seat-seeker will then receive a map to the new seat. Travel+Leisure

  • A 2002 rule in the U.K. allows spousal visa holders who suffer domestic abuse to apply to remain in the country so victims don’t have to choose between abuse or deportation. But anti-immigrant attitudes have grown in the U.K., and the refusal rate for applications from abused spousal visa holders more than doubled from 2012-2016. The Guardian

  • A Swedish labor court has ruled that a Muslim woman who says she was dismissed from a job interview when she refused to shake the hand of a man — instead greeting him with a hand over the heart, as is typical for many Muslims greeting a stranger of the opposite sex — was indeed discriminated against and awarded her financial compensation. The New York Times

By Mitra Norowzi

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