Keeping Score: Jane Fonda’s Arresting Acceptance Speech and Katie Hill’s Last Congressional Call to Action

In every issue of Ms., we track research on our progress in the fight for equality, catalogue can’t-miss quotes from feminist voices and keep tabs on the feminist movement’s many milestones. We’re Keeping Score online, too, in this weekly round-up by Managing Digital Editor Carmen Rios.


Lest We Forget

+ Mia Raven, Policy Director at Yellowhammer Fund, in response to a new Department of Health and Human Services rule announced Friday that effectively allows grant recipients to discriminate against LGBTQ patients: “Discrimination against people due to their gender identity or sexuality is no different than discrimination due to race, and no ‘Biblical belief’ can change that fact. We condemn any attempts by the Trump regime to change our nation into one that suppresses the rights of the people in order to pander to a bigoted Christian elite.”

+ Survivor and author Chanel Miller, who spoke out anonymously after being raped by Brock Turner at Stanford, in her 60 Minutes interview: “Rape is not a punishment for getting drunk.”

+ Rep. Katie Hill resigned this week after right-wing websites obtained and released photographs of her without her consent—and in stepping down, she also stood up against revenge porn and called out double-standards in politics that are holding women back.

I am leaving now because of a double standard. I am leaving because I no longer want to be used as a bargaining chip. I am leaving because I didn’t want to be peddled by papers and blogs and websites, used by shameless operatives for the dirtiest gutter politics that I’ve ever seen, and the right-wing media to drive clicks and expand their audience by distributing intimate photos of me taken without my knowledge, let alone my consent, for the sexual entertainment of millions.

I am leaving because of a misogynistic culture that gleefully consumed my naked pictures, capitalized on my sexuality and enabled my abusive ex to continue that abuse, this time with the entire country watching.

I am leaving because of the thousands of vile, threatening emails, calls and texts that made me fear for my life and the lives of the people that I care about…

I’m leaving because for the sake of my community, my staff, my family and myself I can’t allow this to continue. Because I’ve been told that people were angry when I stood strong after the first article was posted and that they had hundreds more photos and text messages that they would release bit by bit until they broke me down to nothing while they used my faults and my past to distract from the things that matter most.

I am leaving because there is only one investigation that deserves the attention of this country and that’s the one that we voted on today. Today I ask you all to stand with me and commit to creating a future where this no longer happens to women and girls.

Milestones

+ The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) Wednesday held its 2019 annual Courage in Journalism Awards ceremony. The luncheon, hosted by Norah O’Donnell and Cecilia Vega, honored Ukrainian journalists Anna Babinets of SLIDSTVO.INFO and Nastya Stanko of Hromadske; Anna Nimiriano of The Juba Monitor; Nicaraguan journalist Lucía Pineda of 100% Noticias, who was recently released from prison; and, Liz Sly, the Beirut bureau chief for The Washington Post. To mark the organization’s 30th anniversary, a special Lifetime Achievement Award was also presented to the founders of the IWMF.

+ Women typically compose, on average, less than a third of personally on board Surface Navy ships—but earlier this month, an all-female “Sea and Anchor” detail was executed by sailors assigned to the Navy’s forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell. Women ran all critical controlling stations, from the engine rooms to the pilot house, and navigated the ship through one of the busiest waterways in the world to arrive in Singapore October 17.

+ Spelman College this week announced a groundbreaking gift from philanthropist Jon Strykerto of up to $2 million that will allow the women’s college to create a chair in queer studies—the first-ever at an HBCU. “By empowering and educating the next generation,” Stryker, the founder and president of the LGBTQ rights organization Arcus Foundation, told Forbes, “we can help make a future where LGBTQ people have full and equal protections under the law.” The post will be named after black lesbian poet and activist Audre Lorde.

How We’re Doing

+ The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine and the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology issued a joint statement this week, after reviewing academic papers and talking to experts, declaring that so-called crisis pregnancy centers are a health risk for young people. CPCs, or fake clinics, often open their doors near comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care clinics, sometimes near campuses. They advertise heavily, preying on young people with misleading copy about unwanted pregnancies, but do not provide abortion or contraception care or referrals. Instead, many go so far as to shame or deceive patients who are seeking such care.

About

Carmen Rios is the Managing Digital Editor at Ms. and has spent over a decade raising hell in feminist media. Her work has been published by outlets like the Atlantic's CityLab, BuzzFeed, ElixHER, Feministing, Girlboss, Mic, MEL and Everyday Feminism; and she also spent six years writing and editing for Autostraddle, was a founding blogger and activist with the SPARK Movement and was the inaugural managing editor of THE LINE Campaign blog. Carmen is additionally a co-founder of Webby-nominated Argot Magazine.