Feminist Fix: Jemele Hill, Rose McGowan and Malala Aren’t Backing Down

Welcome to the Feminist Fix—a weekly round-up of feminist news and links from across the Internet. Get all caught up and dig a little deeper before you kick off the weekend!

Feminist News

+ Two former graduate students from Boston University have filed shocking sexual harassment complaints against their former professor, noted Antarctic geologist David Marchant. The two women claim that he harassed them during two separate research expeditions beginning two decades ago, and they cite testimony from other women who report similar experiences. One complainant says that Marchant shoved her down a steep slope while pelting her with rocks, calling her a “slut” and a “whore” while pressuring her to have sex with his brother. The other claims he called her a “cunt” and a “bitch” and promised to ruin her professional career.

+ A new policy at the University of Wisconsin allows students to be expelled for taking part in protests.

+ ESPN is once again punishing Jemele Hill for speaking out against racism and white supremacy. Their actions come after white supremacists returned to Charlottesville—the site of a deadly alt-right gathering rife with neo-Nazis and armed militia this summer.

+ Masooma Muradi, the former Governor of Daikundi, Afghanistan and the nation’s only female governor, has been removed from office after receiving continued opposition due to her gender. A man has now filled her post.

+ The ACLU is suing the FDA to lift restrictions on medication abortion pills.

+ In India, a software engineer has begun collecting girls’ stories about menstruation in an effort to smash stigma.

If a snake touches your used sanitary pad, you’ll never get pregnant. Don’t touch pickles during your cycle; they’ll go bad. Don’t cook. Don’t enter the temple. Sleep on the floor–use a rug given to you especially for these days. If you don’t get your period, you’ll die.

By now, Snehal Chaudhari has heard every myth about menstruation. And five years ago, she set up the Kshitij Foundation, a Mumbai-based NGO, to try to stamp them out.

The 26-year-old software engineer says it all started when she saw firsthand how being unprepared for the onset of menstruation could badly affect girls. While visiting an orphanage in remote Maharashtra, a state in west-central India, she came across a 13-year-old girl who had locked herself in the bathroom.

+ A new three-part BBC documentary explores the fight against domestic abuse in Kenya, beginning with an all-women village set up as a safe haven for women fleeing violence.

+ New legislation in the House of Representatives would codify previous guidance on Title IX as it pertains to campus sexual assault and put an end to the confusion and dangerous chaos created by the Trump administration’s rescinding of previous guidance.

+ Donald Trump’s budget passed the House last week. It is expected to go up for a vote in the Senate Monday. And it’s very bad for economic justice.

+ The Women, Peace and Security Act has been signed into law!

+ Student groups can perform the play “Jane” on their campuses for free to support #TogetherForAbortion events.

+ On the one-year anniversary of the leaked Access Hollywood tapes in which Donald Trump bragged about assaulting women, UltraViolet streamed the audio for twelve hours on the National Mall. These are the names and stories of the at least one dozen women who have accused him of sexual assault.


+ 16-year-old Holly Neher made history when she became the first-ever female start in a Florida football game.

+ The next season of “Jessica Jones” will be directed exclusively by women.

Marvel’s Jessica Jones

How We’re Doing

+ The New York Times is tracking the ways in which the Trump administration is scaling back—and attacking—the Affordable Care Act. Here are 11.

+ A new global study proves that rigid gender stereotypes hurt kids.

+ “The share of women in newsrooms has increased barely 1 percentage point since 2001.”

+ A new study—the first of its kind—used census data to determine how far women of reproductive age around the nation live from the abortion clinic nearest to them.

Nationwide, the median distance a woman has to travel to an abortion clinic is about 11 miles, according to the study. That relatively short distance isn’t especially surprising, Bearak said, since “women and clinics are both concentrated in urban areas.”

The nationwide median, however, doesn’t tell the whole story. Bearak and his co-authors also found that one in five American women has to travel more than 43 miles for an abortion. And many women had to travel much farther.

The longest distances were in Alaska. In the Nome Census Area, in the western part of the state, half of women live more than 760 miles from an abortion clinic. But since much of Alaska’s population is concentrated in cities, half of Alaskan women still live within about 9 miles of a clinic.

The states with the highest median distance to a clinic were Wyoming (where half of women live more than 168 miles from a clinic), North Dakota (about 152 miles), and South Dakota (about 92 miles). In some counties within those states — and, indeed, in pockets throughout the country — the median distance was even farther.

Lest We Forget

+ Suzie Biehler on Gloria Steinem’s long-lasting impact on her: “I’m one of the lucky ones. 45 years ago, at the dawn of the tumultuous 1970’s, I got the goods on the inalienable rights of women.”

+ Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on raising feminist daughters and sons:  “I want my sons to escape the pressure to be a particular kind of masculine that is so damaging to men and to the people around them. I want them to be comfortable being themselves, and being feminists—who stand up for what’s right, and who can look themselves in the eye with pride.”

+ The Washington Post had women 10 years apart in age talk to each other about feminism. Here’s what they had to say.

+ Gloria Steinem on Harvey Weinstein and how we root out harassment: “We do whatever we can do. We say, ‘Fuck you, I’m not taking your job.’ We bring charges against him. We tell all our friends, ‘Watch out for this guy.’ We support each other. When I see someone else who’s telling the truth, I try to support her and say thank you.”

+ Actor and activist Rose McGowacalling for the board of Weinstein Co. to resign in the wake of numerous sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein unearthed this week: “The men of Hollywood need to know they own no woman. The days of Entourage-like behavior and thinking is as dated as your largely bro nature. I’m calling on the board to resign effective immediately. And for other men to stop other men when they are being disgusting.”

+ And Sady Doyle on what it means to be “complicit” in a patriarchy: “Weinstein’s alleged behavior is the inevitable end result of a structure in which men hold all the power. So is the silence that surrounds it.”


+ NARAL Pro-Choice California Director Amy Everett on why California needs its Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act: “Employees should be judged in the workplace by job performance. No employer has the right to discriminate against workers for their decisions about if and when to have a family.”

+ Wellesley College President Paula Johnson on the Trump administration’s attacks on birth control: “As a clinical scientist and college president, I have devoted my life’s work to advancing science and promoting the education, health and well-being of women—and to making decisions based on facts. In 2010, I served on the Institute of Medicine’s committee (now the National Academy of Medicine) of 16 leading medical experts asked to identify essential clinical preventive services for women. We reviewed scientific evidence, listened to expert testimony and deliberated extensively for eight months before we reached a clear and unanimous conclusion: The ability to plan and space pregnancies is crucial to the health and well-being of women.”




Carmen Rios is a self-proclaimed feminist superstar and the former digital editor at Ms. Her writing on queerness, gender, race and class has been published in print and online by outlets including BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, DAME, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic, the National Women’s History Museum, SIGNS and the Women’s Media Center; and she is a co-founder of Webby-nominated Argot Magazine. @carmenriosss|carmenfuckingrios.com