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Celebrate the working mothers of hip hop this Women’s History Month

Celebrate the working mothers of hip hop this Women’s History Month


Celebrate the working mothers of hip hop this Women’s History Month

In honor of Women’s History Month, HG contributor DeMicia Inman honors the women, past and present, who incorporate motherhood into their rap careers.

Women are often forced to choose between having a career and having a family. Our patriarchal society makes succeeding on either path difficult, and in any industry, pregnancy is viewed as the end of a woman’s chances for professional success. For Black women, just surviving pregnancy is a feat in itself. The Center for American Progress reports, “African American women are three to four times more likely to die from childbirth than non-Hispanic white women, and socioeconomic status, education, and other factors do not protect against this disparity. Instead, sexism and racism are primary drivers.”

In spite of this discrimination, working mothers break barriers on a daily basis, and women in the hip hop industry have their own special set of parameters when striving for success.

For starters, moms and dads live two different lives in hip hop.

When men rap about women, they are able to treat them as disposable in lyrics dripping in misogyny and insolence. When they become fathers, however, all transgressions are forgiven with one or two songs about how they did not view women as people until the birth of their daughter. But since women are supposed to be the primary caregivers in our society, being a mother and having a rap career is seemingly out of the question. As is the case in any industry, it is believed that successful women should not have children until after their career peaks.

But when it comes to motherhood and hip hop, these ladies have broken the mold.


One of the most dominant rappers in the industry today is a woman and a mother: Cardi B.

Cardi B’s swift takeover of hip hop and pop music did not slow down once she and husband, rapper Offset, announced daughter Kulture to the world—despite what people predicted on social media. In one of Cardi B’s recent uploaded-and-deleted Instagram videos, which she shared after becoming the first woman in history to win Best Rap Album at the 61st Grammy Awards, the “Bodak Yellow” rapper expressed the fact that many people counted her out when they learned of her pregnancy.

After growing tired of the backlash stemming from her historic win, a visually frustrated Cardi B took to the social media app and said, “[I] locked myself in the studio for three months my ni**a…didn’t sleep in my own bed. Sometimes for four days straight. Pregnant! Some songs couldn’t even get on the fucking album ‘cause my nose was so fuckin’ stuffy from my pregnancy…while everybody was harassing like, you not gonna do it, we know you pregnant, your career is over. That shit dwelling in my fucking mind while I’m working.”

Cardi B at SNL
Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Typically unabashed, the rapper had initially shied away from announcing her pregnancy, and as shown above, it was for good reason. Once she revealed her pregnancy on Saturday Night Live, the pressures of motherhood doubled while the spotlight on Cardi B continued to grow. In her June 2018 interview with Rolling Stone, Cardi said that she briefly considered abortion because of beliefs that a baby could ruin her career. In an April 2018 interview with The Breakfast Club radio show, Cardi explained that she knew she had the means to support herself and her baby, adding “Why do I gotta choose a career or a baby? Why can’t I have both? I want both.” 

Despite these naysayers, Cardi B continues to prove that any ideas of motherhood hindering her career are only myths, and she incorporates this new role into her art. The rapper’s Coachella debut featured a glowing and pregnant Cardi twerking in all of her glory, her baby bump made appearances on magazine covers, in TV performances, and on red carpets, and Cardi even breastfed baby Kulture during her video for “Money.”

The Grammy-winning rapper is not alone when it comes to balancing motherhood with hip hop success. Contemporary rappers Bbymutha, Rico Nasty, and Yung Miami all share their different experiences navigating motherhood and rap careers.

Whether through intimate documentaries or precise lyricism, these women offer refreshing perspectives in the genre, proving that young Black motherhood has no limits.

Queen of the sugar trap, Rico Nasty’s refreshing presence in hip hop goes beyond her effervescent style of music. While the Nasty rapper often shares photos of her son, Cam, on social media, the world really got to witness Rico Nasty, mother, during her Countin’ Up documentary with FADER. We see that, for Rico, touring means constant calls back home to catch up with Cam, and she prefaces her pregnancy story with a strong “Whew child!” before going into details of heartbreak and tenacity. Following the death of her child’s father before his birth, Rico Nasty explains in the doc how she was determined to succeed:

“You either die or you keep going, that’s it. You don’t have no other option. The world don’t stop. Your job don’t stop. Your kids don’t stop. Money don’t stop…don’t nothing fucking stop unless you stop.”

Underground rapper Bbymutha embraces motherhood not only in her stage name, but through her art.

Bbymutha as a name itself challenges the negative implications of being a “baby mother” by proudly proclaiming it. The Chattanooga artist has two sets of twins, and the children have even made appearances on Bbymutha’s projects. During a recent interview with The Washington Post, Bbymutha revealed how her children impact her art and how she combats feelings of being a bad parent:

“Most of the time, I don’t really look at them as children. I look at them as people and I look at them as extensions of art. So when it comes to making my music, of course I include them in that…”

The rapper added, “You get told so many times in your life after you have kids that it’s all you’re ever going to be.”

When multiple women in hip hop succeed, it is still considered a rarity, which is why we must celebrate it. In addition to all the women currently making their mark in rap, these aforementioned mothers are also pushing an envelope that had been signed and sealed in past decades. Female rappers of the ’80s, ’90s, and early ’00s have also shared their experience of having children and a music career.

In a 2018 interview with Oprah magazine, Bronx rapper Remy Ma reflected on how the music industry influenced her desire for children. “[F]or female artists, it’s on a whole different level. We’re supposed to be seen as sex symbols. You’re told to appear single so people want you and desire you. All of these things are stuck into your head by the industry. So when you’re in the limelight, it takes a special kind of woman to say ‘I don’t care what anybody says.’”

In the same article, Remy shared her struggles to conceive a second child after experiencing ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage during the filming of Love & Hip Hop: New York, on which she appears with husband, rapper Papoose.  Since then, Remy became pregnant again and the couple welcomed their baby girl, a self-proclaimed “Golden Child,” into the world in December 2018.

Lauryn Hill’s groundbreaking, Grammy award-winning solo album of 1998, The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill, features the song “To Zion.” The song joyfully celebrates Hill’s first son (she would go on to have six children) and references industry pressures that tried to convince her to delay motherhood: “I knew his life deserved a chance / But everybody told me to be smart / Look at your career they said / Lauryn, baby use your head / But instead I chose to use my heart.”

With a bright future in rap and R&B in the late ’90s, the saga ended after Miseducation; Hill is still hailed as one of rap’s greatest, but she never released another album. When discussing her decision to stop recording music, she told NPR in 2010, “…partly, the support system that I needed was not necessarily in place.”

In 1990, Pepa of all-female rap trio Salt-N-Pepa gave birth to her first son. That year, Salt-N-Pepa was also among hip hop’s biggest stars with the release of their platinum album Blacks’ Magic. This was followed by a 1992 Grammy nomination for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for the song, “Let’s Talk About Sex.” Soon, all three members had become mothers, but their commercial success continued. In 1995, their fourth studio album Very Necessary earned them hit after hit with “Shoop,” “Whatta Man,” and the sexual freedom anthem, “None Of Your Business.” The latter resulted in their first Grammy win, making the three mothers the first women in rap to take home the gold.

In their April 1995 cover story with Jet, group members Salt, Pepa, and DJ Spinderella revealed that being mothers meant no more shortcuts in their career. “With children, we have to think about the future because you have someone depending on you,” said Salt.

Pepa added, “Now we have to be in control. It’s coming to a realization that this career, this life is yours. You have to do what you have to do and take no shortcuts.”

Salt N Pepa at 37th Grammy Awards
Steve Granitz Archive 1/WireImage

What women like Remy, Lauryn, and Salt-N-Pepa did—and what women like Cardi B, Rico Nasty, and Bbymutha continue to do—is make space for other women so that motherhood will not defer their dreams. Mothers in hip hop can encourage industry standards to change, and through their music, they will flip the script in a male-dominated industry. These women prove that having a child and a career in rap is not only possible, but worth celebrating.

The post Celebrate the working mothers of hip hop this Women’s History Month appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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FIFA Will Publicize Its Vote on the 2023 Women’s World Cup Host

(MIAMI) — FIFA has agreed to make public its vote on the host for the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

The organization’s decision-making body is becoming more transparent after concerns were raised last month that the women’s tournament wouldn’t fully follow the new voting process for the men’s World Cup.

The United States, Canada and Mexico were chosen last year to host the 2026 World Cup. The votes by the FIFA Congress of all member associations were published. Previously, the decisions were taken in private by the scandal-discredited FIFA executive committee, which was renamed the FIFA Council in 2016.

But FIFA announced last month that its 37-person council would still decide on the destination of the 2023 Women’s World Cup, with no mention of votes being publicly declared.

Now, FIFA has said following a meeting in Miami that after the council makes its decision in March 2020, the “result of each ballot and related votes of each member” will be “open and made public.”

It could be the most hotly contested bidding process for the tournament, which was first staged in 1991. Australia, Colombia, Japan and South Africa have been exploring bids. South Korea submitted a proposal to North Korea to jointly bid.

FIFA asked countries interested in bidding to do so by Friday, but it has yet to disclose who made submissions. Bidders have until April 16 to complete their bidding registrations, and bid books must be submitted by Oct. 4.

Sports – TIME

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International Women’s Day Interview with Louise McNaught

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we were lucky enough to get an interview with one of artrepublic’s top female artists, Louise McNaught

 

We talked about what International Women’s Day meant to her, who has been an inspirational figure to her and a bit about her up and coming project. See the interview below.

Louise McNaughtEmma: Hi Louise, thank you for doing this interview with us, especially with it currently being international women’s month. To start off, I wanted to first ask what does International Women’s Day mean to you?

To be completely honest, it didn’t mean much to me previously. I initially felt that there was no need to have a specific day for women and for men. However, after having my daughter it has had more meaning to me, as I would like for my daughter to have as many possibilities in life in a world of equality.

Emma: Do you feel that you are an inspiration to other female artists who might be starting out?

I do often get contacted by female art students that look to me for advice and guidance. I often get asked if I can help them with projects that they have going on. It’s very flattering to say you have inspired someone as I’m just acting on what inspires me and if that speaks to others that’s fantastic!

Emma: That sounds great that you are approached by young artists and that you offer advice. Do you view yourself as a role model for younger women? 
King of a Fading Empire by Louise McNaught

Ever since I had my daughter, I now try to be a better, more responsible person! I don’t like to think of myself as a role model – that’s a very weighty title. I’d like the title ‘Inspirer’ instead, I hope I inspire women that want to pursue art, and who think the art world is male-dominated (and admittedly it still is), that they can still go for it! Having Autumn opened my eyes to the world, and it makes me think more about how life will be for her as she grows up, and I hope I can inspire her to go for whatever she is inspired by.

Emma: Are there any inspirational female figures that had an impact on you while growing up and to also you currently?The Darker the Night the Brighter the Stars by Louise McNaught

I would have to say my mum was a huge inspiration to me. Especially when it comes to how I want to raise my daughter. The way she raised me, makes me want to do the same for my daughter. One artist that that really inspired me growing up was the artist Susan Seddon Boulet. Her artwork isn’t very popular over here in England but in the US, she has a big following … even though she died many years ago. Her art and career inspired me as an artist.

Emma: Have you always wanted to be an artist?

Yes, I have always wanted to be an artist. There are baby pictures of myself holding a pen in a very steady way from around age 1, and by the time I was 8, I definitely knew that I wanted to be an artist. My family were not artists, so this was very much a solitary pursuit.

Emma: So, we know that you graduated from the University of Greenwich back in 2012. Do you have a favourite memory of when you were at the university?

For me, the best thing about University was meeting other artists. Meeting more misfits like me. I didn’t know any other artists back at home, so it was great A Star is Born by Louise McNaughtto meet more creative minds and socialise with them.

Emma: You have many beautiful pieces that you have created over the years. What has been your favourite piece to work on and why?

I would have to say the project I am currently working on. I am starting to incorporate elements of popular culture and consumerism mixed in with my animals.

Emma: Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?

Get your art online! Create your own website and promote your own work across social media. Find your audience online and make sure you to get your art in front of your following.

Emma: Do you have any ongoing projects you’d like to highlight?

The current project I am working on is called ‘Consume’. As a natural progression from Endangered Animals, I am creating pieces that show how these animals are going to face extinction. This will be on display in my solo show at the Royal Overseas League in  Mayfair from the 27th of June to the 9th of September 2019.   

Louise McNaught is a contemporary artist with international representation and as of 2018 is also a published Author. Louise‘s creations feature animals that are God-like, sublime and ethereal in their presence and depiction.  

Check out all of her work HERE 

The post International Women’s Day Interview with Louise McNaught appeared first on artrepublic blog.

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All 28 Women’s National Team Players Sue U.S. Soccer for Equal Pay

Players for the U.S. women’s national soccer team have filed a federal gender discrimination lawsuit seeking pay equal to that of their male counterparts.

The action comes just three months before the team will defend its title at the Women’s World Cup.

The class-action lawsuit was filed Friday in federal court in Los Angeles under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. It alleges gender-based discrimination by the U.S. Soccer Federation.

The players allege they have been subject to ongoing “institutionalized gender discrimination,” including unequal pay, despite having the same job responsibilities as players on the men’s national team. The 28 members of the current national team player pool joined in the lawsuit.

The U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association was not party to the lawsuit, but in a statement said it “supports the plaintiffs’ goal of eliminating gender-based discrimination by USSF.”

The U.S. Soccer Federation didn’t have an immediate comment.

The players are seeking equal pay and treatment, in addition to damages including back pay. The complaint was filed on International Women’s Day.

“Each of us is extremely proud to wear the United States jersey, and we also take seriously the responsibility that comes with that. We believe that fighting for gender equality in sports is a part of that responsibility. As players, we deserved to be paid equally for our work, regardless of our gender,” forward Alex Morgan said in a prepared statement.

This is not the first time the players have sought equitable compensation and conditions.

A group of players filed a complaint in 2016 with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that alleged wage discrimination by the federation. The players maintained that players for the men’s team earned far more than they did, in many cases despite comparable work.

The lawsuit effectively ends that EEOC complaint, brought by Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn, Carli Lloyd and former goalkeeper Hope Solo.

The team took the fight into contract negotiations and struck a collective bargaining agreement in 2017 that runs through 2021.

The players received raises in base pay and bonuses as well as better provisions for travel and accommodations, including increased per diems. It also gave the players some control of certain licensing and marketing rights. Specific details about the deal were not disclosed.

“This lawsuit is an effort by the plaintiffs to address those serious issues through the exercise of their individual rights. For its part, the USWNTPA will continue to seek improvements in pay and working conditions through the labor-management and collective bargaining processes,” the players’ union said.

The USSF has in the past maintained that much of the pay disparity between the men’s and women’s teams resulted from separate labor agreements.

Sports – TIME

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Trans athletes are making a travesty of women’s sports

The state of Connecticut has offered a dismaying picture of the future of female athletics, with two male-to-female transgender runners routinely outpacing the competition at the state track championships. The two biologically male students, Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood, finished first and second, respectively, in the 55-meter dash this year, crushing the competition. Miller set…
Opinion | New York Post

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Saudi prosecutor indicts women’s rights activists held for nearly a year without charge 

It is not clear whether Saudi Arabia intends to vigorously pursue legal charges or release the activists under the cover of a judicial process — and, by doing so, dispense with what has become a public relations problem for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. 
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Women’s Ready-to-Wear Season in Paris: The Scene

There’s never a dull moment in the City of Light. Here, a smattering of ideas of what to do between fashion shows.
GENERATION US: Two new stores, run by former Colette employees, have emerged on the northern tip of the Rue Cambon in Paris following a broad reshuffling of retail space in the tony neighborhood. Adding a sheen of Colette-cool to the luxury stronghold, the stores offer a range of streetwear, watches, sneakers and magazines from a wide swath of brands.

Inside the new Nous store. 

The five-strong team behind Nous includes Olivier Breton, Marvin Dein, Enson Malbranche, Tarek Amoura and Sylvain Brondel. “After the closing of Colette, it was normal to continue our momentum, build our own project with the know-how and contacts we built up over so many years,” said Dein, who spent five of his 10 years at Colette buying sneakers.

The Nous facade. 

The triangular space at Number 48, opened first, sprinkling streetwear with art, watches from labels including Rolex, Label Noir and Romain Jérome, glasses from Gucci and Spektre, jewelry from Nina & Ko, Tom Wood and John Hardy, and high-tech objects from Bang & Olufsen and Hadro. Across the street are cosmetics and perfume from labels such as Codage,

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Loose Women’s Stacey Solomon swore Joe Swash to silence over pregnancy news – and then told everyone

STACEY Solomon swore boyfriend Joe Swash to silence over their pregnancy news – and then told everyone herself.

The 29-year-old Loose Women star – who announced the couple’s pregnancy earlier today – laughed as Joe, 37, told today’s panel show how Stacey had laid down the law and then found herself unable to keep the news secret herself.

Stacey revealed the story on today’s Loose Women

He said: “She gave me ground rules about what I could and could not say and then I bumped into Alison Hammond and she gave me a big hug and said congratulations.”

Stacey also admitted she found herself confused about who she had told about the pregnancy.

She said: “I don’t know what to do. I’m so elated and excited. I can’t believe we’re so privileged to be having another child. I forgot who I told. I kept just doing this weird nod to people as if, ‘You know right?’

“We felt it was important to keep it to ourselves until we were safe. We didn’t find out until a certain point and then we had to let our families know and our children know. And there is a point when you just want to keep it to yourself.”

Joe revealed he is overjoyed with the baby news
The couple beamed with happiness about their news

Joe added: “It’s brilliant, I’m really chuffed. It’s just nice to have the secret out. We’ve had to keep it undercover and so it’s nice we can let people know.”

“We’re really blessed and excited. I can’t wait to see what our little kids going to look like.”

The couple both became emotional as they spoke about their future baby, with Stacey tearing up as she said: “I don’t know what to say, it’s such a massive thing and it’s happening to us so I just don’t know what to say.”

The celeb couple took to Instagram this morning to share the news with their followers.

Stacey shared a photo of the baby scan

Sharing a series of pictures of Stacey asleep, former EastEnders actor Joe, 37, was the first to make the exciting announcement on his social media page.

The star wrote: “Have been driving myself mad thinking that she’s bored senseless of me and can’t stand to be awake for longer than 10 minutes of my company…

“So you can imagine my delight to find out that she still loves me and my company very much she’s just been growing a baby.

“I can’t begin to describe how happy we are to be able to share this wonderful news. We’ve been so blessed with three incredible children that we’ve had the privilege of raising and we are forever grateful to have the chance to become parents to another wonderful child.

Emotional Stacey admitted that she can’t stop sobbing at their news
Getty – Contributor
Joe announced the news with a series of photos of his girlfriend sleeping
Instagram

“It’s all very overwhelming and emotional and we couldn’t be happier right now.”

Emotional Stacey followed up with a picture of the scan, adding: “Every time I go to write anything I sob so… what he said @realjoeswashy”.

Taking to Twitter, the expectant star retweeted Joe’s message and added: “Words aren’t working for me right now so ditto @realjoeswash” alongside a crying and yellow heart emoji.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain shortly after making the announcement, Joe said of his girlfriend: “She’s all good, she’s excited.

Joe was excited as he spoke about the baby news on GMB
Joe joked that he feared his girlfriend had grown bored of him
Instagram
The star appears to be suffering from tiredness in her pregnancy
Instagram

“We just can’t wait for it to happen.”

When quizzed on the due date, Joe refused to give any details away – simply saying that he “can’t say now”.

Stacey and Joe first started dating in January 2016 and the former X Factor star is already mum to 10-year-old Zachary and six-year-old Leighton, who she shares with ex Dean Cox.

Joe and Stacey with Stacey’s two sons

Meanwhile, Joe is dad to 11-year-old Harry who he shares with ex-fiancee Emma.

Earlier this week, Stacey alluded to the tiredness that she is suffering from in her pregnancy in a candid Instagram post.

The exhausted mum tickled her followers when she shared a photo of her two sons playing computer games on separate TVs while she watched Friends.

Stacey confessed that she had “totally given up on parenting” on the first day of half term, adding: “Feeling like I’ve been stripped of every ounce of energy for no reason at all today.”

Stacey tickled fans with this honest parenting post earlier this week

On Valentine’s Day, the pair prompted speculation that they had got engaged after Joe shared a sweet snap of the Loose Women star in bed with her left hand hidden.

Later in the day, both of the hands were in shot with no ring in sight – with Stacey saying just last month that she would accept a Poundland engagement ring from her husky-voiced beau.

But despite her marriage desires, Stacey recently teased that she and Joe are more likely to welcome a child together before they walk down the aisle.

This Valentine’s photo prompted speculation that the pair had got engaged last week


Writing in her New! column, the star said: “Joe and I have both spoken about it and neither of us are headstrong about having that marriage contract.

“We’re moving in together and probably want to have children before we get married.

“And when we’ve got through life and fed our children and they’re independent, that’s when I would think, ‘Should we get married?’”

Joe and Stacey moved in together in October last year.


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Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center Receives Women’s Choice Award for Excellence in Bariatric Surgery

HONOLULU — For the fourth straight year, Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center has been recognized as one of America’s Best Hospitals for Bariatric Surgery by the Women’s Choice Award®. Presented by WomenCertified Inc., this evidence-based designation scored Moanalua Medical Center in the top 8 percent of 4,797 U.S. hospitals reviewed.

The America’s Best Hospitals for Bariatric Surgery award is given to hospitals recognized by the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. To be eligible for consideration, hospitals must be accredited by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program, which indicates the highest standards for patient safety and quality care in the treatment of severe obesity. The award also takes into account patient safety data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and patient recommendation ratings from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey.

“Nearly 24 percent of Hawaii’s adult population is obese, living with an increased risk of developing diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, arthritis and obesity-related cancer,” said Peggy Latare, MD, co-chief of the bariatric surgery department at Kaiser Permanente Hawaii. “Our bariatric team focuses on offering high-quality, integrated care and support that includes surgery, medication and meal replacements to treat obesity and its many associated risks, as well as education and resources that help patients improve their overall health and quality of life.” Kaiser Permanente Hawaii members who are interested in these services can call 808-432-7830.

America’s Best Hospitals for Bariatric Surgery combines national accreditations, HCAHPS survey results and hospital outcome scores with primary research about women’s health care preferences. It is the only award recognizing excellence in bariatric surgery based on robust criteria that consider female patient satisfaction and clinical excellence.


About the Women’s Choice Award®
The Women’s Choice Award sets the standard for helping women to make smarter choices for themselves and their families. The company and its awards identify the brands, products and services that are most recommended and trusted by women. The Women’s Choice Award is the only evidence-based quality designation that drives consumer and patient appreciation through education, empowerment and validation. Additionally, they recognize those that deliver a recommendation-worthy customer experience. Visit www.WomensChoiceAward.com to learn more.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 12.2 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to kp.org/share.

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Apple recently hired a prominent obstetrician, signaling interest in women’s health

Apple has hired Christine Curry, an obstetrician who is known for treating pregnant women with the Zika Virus, according to several people familiar.
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Caribbean Women Reported as First All-Black Women’s Rowing Team to Cross Atlantic Ocean in Grueling Sport Competition

Four women from Antigua have just completed a grueling rowing competition and many are heralding them as the first all-black women’s rowing team to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Their official team name is Team Antigua- The Island Girls.

Competitive rowers Elvira Bell, Christal Clashing, Samara Emmanuel, and Kevinia Francis participated in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. They set course on Dec. 12 from the Canary Islands and landed in Antigua on Jan. 30—a 3,000-mile trip. A fifth member of the team, Junella King did not actively participate in the race, but trained with the others and served as an alternate.

According to the Indy100 website, the rowing race is one of the toughest in the world. Rowers burn an average of 8,000 calories during the competition.

The women competed in name of their chosen charity, Cottage of Hope, which offers short- and long-term residency to girls who are abused, neglected, or orphaned. Their goal was to raise $ 150,000 for the organization.

The nation of Antigua burst into collective celebration as the women finished the race. As per The Loop, the country’s government officials shortened a budget debate so that politicians could be present when the team arrived in their homeland. Public and private institutions closed early so that more people could meet with and congratulate the team.

The team battled sea sickness and their boat nearly capsized at one point during their journey, reports The Daily Observer. They were presented with a gift by Antigua’s Prime Minister upon their return.

The team’s website has bios of each team member. Christal Clashing is an adventure guide and travel writer. In 2004, she became the first female swimmer to represent Antigua and Barbuda at the Olympics.

Elvira Bell is a swim instructor and a certified health coach. Samara Emmanuel is the first Antiguan woman to become a certified yacht captain and has more than 12 years’ seafarer experience. She is also a certified day skipper, coastal skipper, yacht master, and boat master among a lengthy list of certifications.

Kevinia Francis is a title-winning, all-around athlete who excels in basketball, cycling, martial arts, and track-and-field.

Junella King is just 17-years-old. She juggles school and sailing while working part-time as a sailing instructor.


Register now for the Women of Power Summit taking place at The Mirage, Las Vegas on Feb. 28–March 3, 2019 

The post Caribbean Women Reported as First All-Black Women’s Rowing Team to Cross Atlantic Ocean in Grueling Sport Competition appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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NHL Analyst Under Fire for ‘Explaining’ Hockey to a Women’s Team Olympic Gold Medalist

Kendall Coyne Schofield is a five-time World Championship gold medalist hockey player who helped the United States capture the gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics by scoring two goals during the competition in PyeongChang, South Korea. She currently plays for the Minnesota Whitecaps of the National Women’s Hockey League and just last week she made history as the first female to compete in the NHL All-Star skills competition. In short, Coyne Schofield knows hockey. That didn’t stop on-air reporter Pierre McGuire from trying to explain it to her, though.

Coyne Schofield, who earned a communications degree at Boston’s Northeastern University, was invited to make her broadcasting debut on NBC’s Inside the Glass as an on-air analyst for Wednesday night’s match between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins. McGuire didn’t seem to be aware that Coyne Schofield knew a great deal about hockey, though. “Tampa’s going to be on your left, Pittsburgh’s going to be on your right,” McGuire told Coyne Schofield on air, adding: “We’re paying you to be an analyst, not be a fan tonight.”

In 2014, the Oxford English Dictionary named “mansplain” as a runner-up for their word of the year. According to the dictionary, to mansplain is “to explain something to someone, typically a man to woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronizing.”

Now, McGuire faces backlash for his remarks hockey to an athelte who theoretically knows how the sport works better than him and most, because even though he did coach for one season, Coyne Schofield USA Today points out, McGuire hasn’t played hockey in the NHL.

Sports – TIME

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Women’s March 2019 celebrity speakers, locations and everything else you need to know

What to know about the 2019 Women’s March and related events.
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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Japanese magazine faces backlash for women’s university ‘sex listing’

A Japanese tabloid magazine apologized on Tuesday for an article that ranked local women’s universities based on the alleged willingness of students to have sex at drinking parties. “We would like to apologize for using sensational language to appeal to readers about how they can become intimate with women and for publishing a ranking, with…
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Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center Receives Women’s Choice Award for Cancer Care

HONOLULU — For the second consecutive year, Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center has been named one of America’s Best Hospitals for Cancer Care by the Women’s Choice Award®. This evidence-based designation places Moanalua Medical Center in the top 9 percent of 4,797 U.S. hospitals offering cancer care services.

The America’s Best Hospitals for Cancer Care award is based on criteria such as the comprehensiveness of diagnostic and treatment services offered, low rates of infection compared to the national average, national accreditations, and female patient satisfaction and preference ratings on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey.

Kaiser Permanente’s multidisciplinary, team-based approach focuses on all stages of cancer care, from prevention through treatment. The organization holds an annual Cancer Screening and Prevention Fair where medical specialists and counselors provide screening and lifestyle education to hundreds of attendees. Kaiser Permanente also recognizes that women have specialized health care needs. Moanalua Medical Center’s cancer care services include a breast care clinic, which provides cancer patients with a coordinated team made up of oncologists, geneticists, radiologists, surgeons and support staff who provide comprehensive care under one roof.

“Every year, thousands of people in Hawaii receive a cancer diagnosis,” said Jennifer Carney, MD, chief of oncology and hematology at Kaiser Permanente Hawaii. “Getting that news is never easy. We strive to provide coordinated care that takes into account our patients’ total picture of health so we can deliver safer, more effective care that is also more convenient for our members. We’re grateful to be able to make a difference in the lives of our many members, who survive cancer every year.”

In 2016, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii was ranked first in the state on breast and colorectal cancer screenings by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, a national quality assurance organization. In 2017, Moanalua Medical Center received a 3-year accreditation, the longest available, from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (ACS CoC) based on quality measures including early diagnosis, cancer staging, optimal treatment, rehabilitation and end-of-life care.


About the Women’s Choice Award®
The Women’s Choice Award sets the standard for helping women to make smarter choices for themselves and their families. The company and its awards identify the brands, products and services that are most recommended and trusted by women. The Women’s Choice Award is the only evidence-based quality designation that drives consumer and patient appreciation through education, empowerment and validation. Additionally, they recognize those that deliver a recommendation-worthy customer experience. Visit www.WomensChoiceAward.com to learn more.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 12.2 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to kp.org/share.

 

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Scandal-plagued CBS grants $20M to women’s rights groups

CBS on Friday pledged to give $ 20 million to 18 organizations dedicated to eliminating sexual harassment in the workplace as the network tries to recover from a scandal that led to the ouster of its top executive, Les Moonves. The announcement comes as the network’s crisis deepens, with details emerging from an ongoing investigation into…
Media | New York Post

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Afghanistan suspends officials after women’s soccer team abuse investigation

Afghanistan’s Attorney General has suspended the head of the Afghan Football Federation after a probe into allegations of sexual abuse of members of the national women’s soccer team, a spokesman for the attorney general said on Sunday.


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What Women’s Election Day Victories Mean for the Affordable Care Act

Women’s economic security and access to health care have been under threat since long before President Trump took office, but his election acted as a catalyst—accelerating attacks on our bodily autonomy, health and basic rights. Trump and his allies have undermined the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in every branch of our government—pushing policies that destabilized the insurance market, caused premiums to skyrocket and expanded short-term junk insurance policies that don’t cover basic services like maternity care.

The midterm results were a direct reproach to that agenda. More women ran for and won elected office than ever before, often building platforms around protecting the ACA and pre-existing conditions—and health care was cited time and again as the top issue for women voters, who carried them to victory.

Feminists demonstrated at the Supreme Court in support of the Affordable Care Act in 2016 during oral arguments in a case seeking to weaken its contraceptive coverage mandate. (Victoria Pickering / Creative Commons)

None of this should come as a surprise. Women, especially women of color, have benefitted exponentially from the ACA. Since its implementation, 9.5 million women have gained health insurance and 55 million women are now guaranteed essential benefits like maternity care and birth control coverage, which were often excluded from policies previously. Before the ACA, insurers also routinely charged women up to 1.5 times more than men for the same policy because of common health issues like endometriosis, depression or even pregnancy, and nearly 80 percent of women become mothers but giving birth or having been pregnant was considered a pre-existing condition. Experts estimate that over half of all women and girls—67 million people—have pre-existing conditions.Thanks to the ACA, we’re now protected against that kind of gender discrimination.

The election of more than 100 women to Congress also served as a lightning rod of resistance against the scaled-up attacks on women’s reproductive health and rights that we’ve seen over the past two years, issues that go right to the core of women’s equality and economic security, and made clear a national demand for representation in Congress that reflects the current demographics and values of our country. Polls show that support for legal abortion is at historic highs among Democratic women voters, and growing among Republicans. (More than half of Republican women want Roe v. Wade kept intact.)

That’s also no surprise: One in four U.S. women will have an abortion before she’s 45, and those women are Democrats and Republicans. If we lose Roe, women everywhere will suffer—and women across party lines and state lines know that the right to our autonomy is the right to our destiny. Women know that the ability to choose if, when and how to have kids is inextricably linked to their economic success, health and wellbeing. Restricting or denying abortion access does irrevocable harm to our careers, families and economic security; research shows that women who are denied abortions and forced to carry pregnancies to term are four times more likely to experience poverty. Unwanted births also result in negative outcomes for children compared with planned pregnancies.

Make no mistake: the anti-abortion movement definitely had some wins this year, including the passage of personhood measures in Alabama and West Virginia and the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. But the wave of feminists taking seats in the House come January will surely stymy some of the persistent efforts to shame, pressure and punish women for the decisions they make about their own lives that we’ve seen growing under Trump’s administration.

The majority of women voters cast their ballots for Democrats because they know women cannot be equal without reliable access to affordable health care and the ability to make choices about their bodies. In November, 41 percent of voters cited health care as the issue driving them to the polls. Women make up half of the population, the workforce and the electorate. Recognition for our voting power across party lines is long overdue, and guaranteeing women the right to plan their own families, and futures, is a fundamental part of that.

The historic wins for women on Election Day were also victories for the Affordable Care Act and the people who rely on its benefits—and that’s no coincidence. In Washington, the new feminists in Congress will have the great responsibility of echoing the message voters sent them in the midterms: respect women’s rights and protect our health care.

Margarida Jorge is the executive director of Health Care for America Now, the national grassroots coalition that ran a $ 60 million five-and-a-half year campaign from 2008-2013 to pass, protect and promote the Affordable Care Act and protect Medicare and Medicaid. HCAN has come back together to fight the Republicans’ all-out effort to take away America’s health care and put people at the mercy of the health insurance companies again.

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Women’s Championship Tour 2018 Finale Comes Down to Upcoming Beachwaver Maui Pro

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HONOLUA BAY, Maui, Hawaii/USA (Monday, November 19, 2018) – The Beachwaver Maui Pro, the final stop on the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Women’s Championship Tour (CT), will host the highly-anticipated World Title showdown and the last opportunity for CT requalification later this week.

Held at Honolua Bay in Maui, Hawaii, the waiting period opens on Sunday, November 25 and runs through Wednesday, December 5, 2018. During this time, event organizers will closely monitor the waves and only run during the best conditions.

In the 2018 World Title Race, only Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) and Lakey Peterson (USA) are mathematically in contention to win the prestigious World Championship and await the Beachwaver Maui Pro.

The World Title scenarios going into the Beachwaver Maui Pro are as follows:
– Gilmore will win the World Title with a 3rd or better at the Beachwaver Maui Pro.
– If Gilmore finishes 5th or worse, Peterson must win the event to force a surf-off* for the World Title
– *In the event of a tie for any World Title at the end of the Surfing Season, the tied Surfer will have a “surf-off” during the final Event, which will have the format determined by the Commissioner’s Office. 

For Gilmore, the six-time WSL Champion, winning means making history by clinching a record-equalling seventh World Title. The accomplishment would put Gilmore into an elite class within surfing’s World Champions as one of only three individuals to earn seven World Titles, Layne Beachley (7) and Kelly Slater (11).

For Peterson, defeating Gilmore would mark the American’s first World Title. Peterson is the highest-ranked American surfer on both the women’s and men’s World Rankings, and the win in Maui would push the event into a Surf-Off for the win. With two event wins this year (Gold Coast, Bali) and two runner-up finishes (J-Bay, Rio), Peterson has the potential to upset Gilmore’s hunt for gold.

For more information about the 2018 World Title Race, please visit WSLTitleRace.com.

To requalify for the women’s Championship Tour, current competitors on the CT have to be ranked 10th or better on the Jeep Leaderboard or they must finish 6th or better on the WSL Qualifying Series (QS), excluding those who have already qualified through the CT Rankings. The WSL Commissioner’s Office also selects one wildcard for the season.

With the Beachwaver Maui Pro as the final women’s event of the season, this will be the last opportunity for lower-ranked surfers to secure their positions for next year’s elite Tour. California’s Sage Erickson (USA) needs a critical result to requalify.

Wildcards and injury replacements for the 2018 Beachwaver Maui Pro include Bethany Hamilton (HAW), Alana Blanchard (HAW), Summer Macedo (HAW), and Zoe McDougall (HAW). These athletes will replace Tyler Wright (AUS), Silvana Lima (BRA) and Keely Andrew (AUS), who have withdrawn due to injuries sustained earlier this season.

Alana Blancard (HAW) and Bethany Hamilton (HAW) will compete in the upcoming Beachwaver Maui Pro. Credit: © Rip Curl
Alana Blancard (HAW) and Bethany Hamilton (HAW) will compete in the upcoming Beachwaver Maui Pro.
Credit: © Rip Curl

 

Hamilton poses a considerable threat to the top seeds Carissa Moore (HAW) and Coco Ho (HAW) in Round 1. As evidenced by her previous CT success, Hamilton has proven that anything can happen and will be one to watch when competition is called on. This will be Hamilton’s tenth CT appearance.

Hamilton has become a source of inspiration to millions through her story of determination, faith, and hope. At the age of 13, she lost her left arm to a shark, seemingly ending her surfing career. Against the odds, the “Soul Surfer” returned to the lineup and went on to realize her dream of surfing professionally.

“I am so excited to be competing in home state, Hawai’i!” said Hamilton. “And not only that but at Honolua, one of the world’s best waves! Between the beautiful cliff and those epic righthand walls and barrels, it’s such a dreamy place. It’s going to be amazing to surf against the girls. I can’t wait to see what sort of swell comes for us to compete in.”

Blanchard is a former four-year competitor on the elite Championship Tour. The 28-year-old will return to the competitive CT stage for the first time since 2014 and for the first time since giving birth to her son, Banks. Alongside good friend Hamilton, Blanchard has the opportunity to play spoiler against Gilmore and Erickson, who are both in need of a good start at this event.

“I was definitely very caught off-guard when Jessi texted me and asked if I wanted to be in the Maui Pro,” said Blanchard. “It’s just such a fun wave, and there are a few big swells on the horizon so it should be really good. I wouldn’t say I’m nervous, but I’m just so excited that I need to settle down! It’ll be so good to see everyone, and to have the chance to surf such an amazing wave with just one other girl is incredible.”

Macedo will represent Maui as the Beachwaver wildcard. She will come up against Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) and Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) in Round 1 Heat 5.

The Beachwaver Maui Pro will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com and the WSL’s Facebook page. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.

Beachwaver Maui Pro Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Johanne Defay (FRA), Courtney Conlogue (USA), Paige Hareb (NZL)
Heat 2: Carissa Moore (HAW), Coco Ho (HAW), Bethany Hamilton (HAW)
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Sage Erickson (USA), Alana Blanchard (HAW)
Heat 4: Lakey Peterson (USA), Malia Manuel (HAW), Zoe McDougall (HAW)
Heat 5: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Summer Macedo (HAW)
Heat 6: Caroline Marks (USA), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Bronte Macaulay (AUS)

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

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When Will Lawmakers Stop Surveilling Women’s Bodies?

Women claimed an outsized voice last week in the first national elections since the #MeToo movement went viral—but we have a long way to go in reclaiming our bodies.

Lorie Shaull / Creative Commons

A record number of women ran for political office this year, and a record number will be seated in Congress, but the numbers of women in political office are still depressingly low. Internationally, the U.S. ranked 104th for female representation before the midterms, and the latest elections are just a nudge up. Women will still fill less than a quarter of the seats come 2019, and only nine governors will be female.

Gender parity in politics matters—because our rights and our bodies are on the line. An insidiary and often unnoticed rise in the surveillance and control over women’s bodies is happening right here and now. Some of the strategies are familiar; others are creative and even absurd.

A recent story from Tanzania about the expulsion of pregnant girls from school—a practice recently revived from the 1960s—might be read with curiosity, but seem remote, to those of us living in the U.S. After all, girls here aren’t taken from class and made to pee in a jar for compulsory pregnancy tests twice a year. But several weeks ago, the Virginia prison system did ban visitors from using tampons.

You read that correctly: The state of Virginia wanted to make it so that visitors to prisons in the state revealed to be using a tampon by a body-scan machine would be turned away, and their future visitation privileges “reviewed.” Prison officials claimed this was part of an effort to reduce fatal overdoses from drugs smuggled into prisons. The ACLU and other advocacy groups disagreed, and pressured the prison system to reverse course. Their intervention allowed women to escape this latest surveillance, but some effects remain. The body scans of visitors will still reveal tampon use—which remains intrusive, not to mention creepy.

Women these days are engaged in a constant game of whack-a-mole against attacks on their reproductive rights and health. As women candidates scored victories in the midterms, Alabama voters approved a measure to recognize the rights of the unborn—laying the groundwork for an outright abortion ban if the landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, now more at risk than ever, was ever be overturned.

Vigilance, it seems, is now required to simply hold on to rights that we thought were already secure. Take, for example, the contraception wars—which many of us felt were settled in the 1960s and 70s, but, then, suddenly weren’t. Rush Limbaugh called law student Sandra Fluke a slut for advocating for contraceptive coverage during debates over the Affordable Care Act, and it was only an opening performance of what was yet to comer. Soon thereafter, employers stated they were willing to cover birth control pills for health reasons, but not to avoid pregnancy—and that to determine the difference, women would have to explain themselves.

Nicole Mone Arteaga was denied access to critical care in June by a Walgreens’ pharmacist in Arizona, who refused to fill a prescription needed to manage the miscarriage of her very-much-wanted pregnancy. He was able to do so because an Arizona “conscience” statute permits pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for emergency contraception, abortion medication and drugs that prevent implantation of a fertilized ovum. Arteaga later said that, after explaining in front of her seven-year-old child and five nearby customers that the fetus she was carrying had failed to develop, she left without the prescription “in tears, ashamed and feeling humiliated by a man who knows nothing of my struggles but feels it is his right to deny medication prescribed to me by my doctor.”

Arizona is not the only state where women like Arteaga aren’t in control of their bodies. The list of intrusive regulations nationwide goes on and on, as does the fight to stop them. But with each one of these proposed policies the goalpost of what might become normalized is moved—even if they’re staved off in legislative session or the courts intervene to protect women’s bodies.

In the name of women’s “right to know,” North Carolina requires physicians to display and describe the results of a mandatory ultrasound before an abortion, which requires a vaginal probe in many cases—and claimed it was enough that a patient who didn’t enjoy the process could avert her eyes or cover her ears to make do. A court reviewing the law sympathized with the patient lying “half-naked or disrobed on her back,” but ultimately struck the law down because it infringed on the physician’s rights; the requirement was “quintessential compelled speech,” “forc[ing] physicians to say things they otherwise would not say,” even though the compulsion experienced by the physicians inevitably pales in comparison to that experienced by the patients. Today, similar “speech and display” ultrasound laws remain in effect in Louisiana, Texas and Wisconsin.

Virginia’s tampon ban was not defended as a means to limit contraband for the sake of prison control—it was defined as an effort to save prisoner’s lives. Really? Instead of beginning with the vagina, perhaps we could try adequate medical care staffing and emergency response, or drug and mental health treatment programs.

Nature makes it hard enough for girls and women to consistently exercise comfortable control over their bodies: we have periods, we get pregnant, we lose wanted pregnancies. It isn’t fair, just or right that we must also continue to face down boys and men each day who assert their own prerogatives over our bodies—and it’s scary that the government increasingly, incrementally and, under the guise of apparently noble but ultimately shallow justifications, is also attempting to take more and more control over our decisions and our destinies.

It’s clear now more than ever that our constitutional rights are an imperfect shield—one around which intrusive laws can peer, poke and prod. The midterms were a strong first step toward taking back our power to decide and determine our own futures—but we must be ready to vote, mobilize, run for office and pack up our pink hats and posters until we’re certain that our bodily integrity is safe.

Lois Shepherd is Professor of Law, Professor of Public Health Sciences, the Wallenborn Professor of Biomedical Ethics and Co-Director of Studies in Reproductive Ethics and Justice at the University of Virginia. She is a Public Voices Fellow with the Op-Ed Project.

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‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ star Rachel Bloom wrote a song skewering women’s magazine covers

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Crazy Ex-Girlfriend star Rachel Bloom has been skewering unrealistic expectations of women (set by both men and women) and debunking sex myths for years. But now, the actress, singer, and comedian has a new platform: a musical magazine cover.

For the cover of the fall issue of Allure, Bloom wrote a superb song about the male gaze, the reality of female orgasms, and the fact that no magazine “tips” will get you Angelina Jolie’s tresses.

It’s pretty bold of Allure to run Bloom’s superb lampooning of women’s magazine covers, as a women’s magazine publishing how-to beauty and sex tips.

In an accompanying article, Allure said they asked Bloom “to produce a song that sheds light on the countless misconceptions surrounding cover shoots and expectations versus reality without shaming the beauty processes themselves, since plenty of us simply love doing them for ourselves.” Read more…

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Dsquared2 Revamps the Brand’s First Fragrance and Introduces a Women’s Version  

TIM-BER!: “We’re not killing trees anymore,” said Dean Caten of Dsquared2 at the exclusive launch of the brand’s revamped Wood fragrance, which no longer has wooden packaging.
The men’s and women’s fragrances — brown for the boys and pink for the girls — now takes the shape of a hefty beer bottle.
The 30-ml. bottle sells for 44 pounds and the 100-ml. bottle sells for 75 pounds. The fragrance launches at Harvey Nichols on Monday and the Caten brothers expressed the importance of launching exclusively with the department store.
“It’s important to give an exclusive to somebody because it makes it more important as opposed to coming out everywhere. It’s more intimate this way,” said Dean.
In May, Dsquared2 inked a licensing agreement with Euroitalia for the production and distribution of the brand’s fragrances, and Wood is the first perfume to be relaunched under this new partnership.
The men’s fragrance has been reworked while the women’s is a completely new scent created by perfumer Marie Salamagne. Both incorporate similar base notes such as white wood and ambrox.
“We’ve scrapped all of our other perfumes and since Wood was our first fragrance and our bestseller, we’re relaunching with this,” said Dan.
While the fragrance has been divided into men’s and

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Rest in Power: Feminist Filmmaker Audrey Wells Brought Women’s Lives to the Big Screen

Last week, after a courageous and years-long battle with cancer, feminist filmmaker and activist Audrey Wells passed away at 58 years old.

Wells was a screenwriter for The Hate U Give, in theaters now. The film, an adaptation of an Angie Thomas novel, is about a young black woman who is called to action after she watches police officers unjustly kill her best friend. Discussing such serious issues through her work was no new task for Wells, who always focused on representing characters multi-dimensionally and writing strong female leads. (Wells was perhaps best known for writing and directing the 2003 film Under the Tuscan Sun, which followed a woman intent on rebuilding her own life as she traveled to Italy for solace.)

Wells began her life as Audrey Ann Lederer. Born in San Francisco, California, in 1960, she grew up in a loving home with her parents who sparked her imagination and passion for learning. She received an undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkley, and held jobs in radio before pursuing film; she ultimately obtained a graduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Creative, innovative, unique and progressive are some of the words that were often used to describe her films and Wells herself—but words alone cannot do justice to her work or her passion for social justice. Wells was an outspoken feminist intent on changing culture through her art, and a vocal supporter of feminist organizations. She was known in her field for leveraging a feminist lens in her work and using media to stand up for what she believed in.

Wells is survived by many family members, including her husband and daughter. Instead of flowers and cards, her family has asked that anyone grieving the loss of her life send donations to organizations including the Feminist Majority Foundation, which publishes Ms.

Miranda Martin is a feminist writer and activist and an editorial intern at Ms. She has written for a variety of publications and been published by The Unedit and Project Consent. Miranda recently graduated from University of Wisconsin La Crosse with a major in Interpersonal Communications and a double minor in Creative Writing and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She loves to travel, read, exercise and daydream about the fall of the patriarchy.

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Why Investing in Black Women’s Art is a Power Move

The social climate has always impacted the art world. Currently, women’s issues are at the forefront of politics and social justice; in turn, the art industry is affected—particularly its women. Research conducted by the National Endowment for the Arts found women artists, who account for 51% of all visual artists, make only $ 0.81 to every dollar earned by their male counterparts. This data matches, eerily, the national gender wage gap reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and speaks sorely to the sign of the times.

However, on the flip side of grossing significantly less than men, women are having a profound influence on art sales, breaking records now more than ever. According to the New York Times, “last spring in New York, auction sales records were shattered for the works of 15 female artists.” Among them, artist Cecily Brown’s sale topped the bunch at $ 6.6 million. Of the group, only two women were black—Lorna Simpson and Xaviera Simmons—whose sales came in unsurprisingly lower at $ 350,000 and about $ 30,000.

black women artists

Xaviera Simmons, “A Country Built On Free Labor.’ Print (sothebys.com)

 

But even a few black women realizing success at the auction level is a major inspiration for others.

“I celebrated when I read that Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s portraits of black figures sold for a total of $ 2.5 million last year and Njideka Akunyili Crosby reached $ 3.4 million earlier this year,” expresses Tracy Murrell, an Atlanta-based artist. “I am a huge fan of both artists and to see the work of black bodies by black female artists at that level of the art world is symbolic validation that there is a place in the high-end art world for what I create.”

Traditionally, a lofty auction sale results in an increase of value for a given artists’ work and their visibility as well as the opportunity to exhibit in art institutions and become part of their collection. So  this news should have a trickle-down effect: recognition and an uptick in sales for other women artists. At least that is how it worked for white male artists throughout history. However, along with gender disparity, race disparity is reflected in the art market.

Artnet performed an analysis which explores how African American artists fare financially at auctions using the volume of sales. It was discovered black art sales at auctions are on the rise, yet “of the contemporary American artists selling for over a million dollars at auction, a mere one-tenth are black,” and of the top 100, only two are women—Kara Walker and Mickalene Thomas.

The upside is that the disparity makes it a good time to consider a serious investment in women’s art— and particularly black women’s art.

black women artists

Lorna Simpson, ‘Ultra Blue.’ Mixed Media (mutualart.com)

 

This is where art collectors and enthusiasts can effect change. Aside from the personal financial gains, investing in black art establishes greater market value for an otherwise underrecognized demographic and contributes to the black economy. Lauren Harris, gallery manager and curator for Zucot Gallery explains:

“Investing in art created by black women is something we all should be doing. There are two main reasons: our narratives and our worth.”

“In my 10 years of being in the art world, black women have had the truest and most unapologetic voice personified in their art,” Harris says. “From Lorna Simpson to Kara Walker and more recently Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Simone Leigh, black female artists break the mold, driving ‘cultural shifts’ in the market.”

If you’ve been considering investing in art created by black women, Harris suggests the timing is right:

“Now that artwork by black women are ‘trending’ in the mainstream art world due to high sales at auctions and acquisitions by notable collectors, there can come a time when their work is less attainable. The same way Amy Sherald shot to fame after being revealed as the artist behind former FLOTUS Michelle Obama’s portrait for the National Portrait Gallery, can apply to the many working professional black female artists from all over.”

Harris warns: “Invest now, so you won’t be sorry later.”

The value of art is typically stable; the average annual return on art investments is +7.6%, according to Artprice. And if that doesn’t get your coins twerking, check these five black women artists for motivation:

black women artists

Samella Lewis, ‘Field Hand.’ Watercolor on paper (Pinterest)

 

black women artists

Beverly Buchanan, To ‘Prudence Lopp,’ Mixed Media (nyartbeat.com)

 

black women artists

Tamara Madden, ‘Vanquisher,’ Acrylic on canvas (Pinterest)

 

black women artists

Tracy Murrell, ‘For Sloan,’ Mixed Media (tracymurrell.com)

 

black women artists

Deborah Roberts, ‘Not on me,’ Collage (deborahrobertsart.com)

 

black women artists

Harmonia Rosales, ‘The Virgin,’ Mixed Media (harmoniarosales.com)

Harmonia Rosales, ‘The Virgin,’ Mixed Media

On Thursday, Oct. 4, Swann Gallery, which is one of the only major auction houses for African American artwork, is holding their autumn auction. This is a fine time to get in on investing in fine art from artists ranging from Thelma Johnson Streat to Elizabeth Catlett. Bidding starts at 2:30 p.m. ET. You can attend in-person or livestream on the gallery’s website.

The post Why Investing in Black Women’s Art is a Power Move appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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