Danae Mines, a firefighter of 11 years, has long been one of New York City’s few women in the position. Now, she’s taking on another first — the only woman to be featured in the formerly dudes-only FDNY Calendar of Heroes.
The annual display of sexy firefighters raises money for the FDNY Foundation — and gives us all an excuse to gawk at shirtless heroes for a good cause. Mines’ interest in the calendar wasn’t met with the enthusiasm her male peers usually receive. Mines told the New York Daily News that she was told that only men were allowed to be featured and that “if I made it in the calendar, I would look like a pinup girl.” Considering that all of the men featured in the calendar are scantily dressed themselves, a comment like that is positively blood-boiling. It seems that Mines felt the same way: “I wasn’t going to let anyone tell me I couldn’t do what I wanted to do. I was determined.” After all, it only makes sense that anyone who risks their life everyday to protect others, male or female, deserves eligibility for such honors. Keep reading »
In its 236 years of existence, the U.S. Navy has never had a female four-star admiral — until now. Vice Admiral Michelle Howard was just promoted to an admiral and is now the Navy’s new vice chief of naval operations, which is the branch’s number two position. (The Air Force and the Army have both named women as four-star officers in the past.) As if Howard weren’t already enough of a badass, she was also the first Black woman to command a Navy ship. Keep reading »
Most people know Karyn Parsons as Hilary Banks of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” but these days, she’s more of a history teacher than anything else. In the years since “Fresh Prince,” the star and mom of two founded a nonprofit called Sweet Blackberry, which aims to share little known stories of black history with children. Her goal is to teach and empower young people through these stories, and change the way they view African American culture. It’s a grim reality that American history is selectively retold, often with an omission of key players in moving the country forward who are black.
Parsons told The Root:
“In the schools we pretty much learn about the same handful of stories of black people and accomplishments. And they are fascinating, great stories, but they’re the same ones. There’s so many people who contributed to this country, who created the fabric of this country, that are not white. [When] we just relegate black history to February, for a short little 28 days we will talk about it, and you relegate it to a little, special ‘boutique’ history, you extract it from American history. It becomes this cute, little history, and every now and then a special black person comes along who does something great.”
Keep reading »
Earlier today, the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office cancelled the federal trademarks for the Washington Redskins after ruling that the name was “disparaging to Native Americans.” And the woman to thank for this tremendous victory over a powerful NFL team and its owners is Suzan Harjo, a 69-year-old grandmother and Native American activist who has been waging this fight since 1992. ”Native American people have been fighting this since 1972,” Amanda Blackhorse, one of the five Native American plaintiffs in the case filed before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, told Business Insider. ”The reason it has come up recently is because Suzan has worked really hard to bring this in the public eye.” Keep reading »
To understand why Amara Enyia is running for mayor of Chicago, you have to understand Chicago a little first: Chicago is one city made up of about 75 neighborhoods, and within those there are neighborhoods-within-neighborhoods. Those neighborhoods reflect the city’s vast diversity: Pilsen is a historically Mexican neighborhood, and is home to the National Museum of Mexican Art and the International Latino Cultural Center; Humboldt Park is historically Puerto Rican; Uptown, Garfield Park, Austin, Kenwood, Pullman, and Bronzeville are just a few of the historic African-American neighborhoods; Albany Park has a huge Korean population; Andersonville is historically Swedish while Lincoln Square is historically German; we have a Polish Corridor, a Ukranian Village, Greektown, Chinatown, Little India, and Little Italy. Lakeview is our GLBT hub, Wicker Park was gentrified 20 years ago and is where musicians, artists, artisans and hipster hang out. Within the metropolitan area, we have one of the largest Jewish populations. Keep reading »
“Deadliest Catch” is one of my favorite reality shows. I love watching marathons of it when I’m sad or depressed, because nothing makes me feel better about my current life situation than being reminded that it could be worse, and specifically, that I could be in the middle of a 24-hour shift on a tiny crab boat in the middle of a hurricane on the Bering Sea, with snot and fish guts frozen to my face. That being said, the show is a total sausage fest — crab fishing is an industry dominated by men, and the show’s cast reflects that. Besides one husband and wife captain team, you rarely, if ever, see a woman on the show.
But 18-year-old Mandy Hansen is about to change that. Keep reading »
Student loan debt in America currently totals $1.2 trillion, and is rising quickly. As graduation day approaches, the class of 2014 might be feeling less than hopeful about their future, faced with a less-than-stellar job market and tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars of debt accrued in the process of getting a degree. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is working hard to give those students a chance at a life that’s not defined by endless interest payments and constant phone calls from debt collectors. On Tuesday, she filed a bill in the Senate that would allow students to refinance their loans at the current rate (which is 3.86% right now).
“This is an economic emergency, and we can’t ignore it any longer,” she said. Keep reading »
Fahma Mohamed, a 17-year-old British student, is determined to make female genital mutation (FGM) a thing of the past in the UK. The process is intended to prevent sex from being pleasurable for a young woman so that she remains “pure” until marriage. The most common time for FGM to happen is over summer holidays, when families in Britain travel to other countries. So Fahma is petitioning Michael Gove, the British Secretary of State for Education, to take action fast and ask that head teachers train other teachers and parents on the horrific realities of FGM. Keep reading »
This past Saturday, Bernice Gordon turned 100 years old, and to celebrate, she did what she does every day: she created a crossword puzzle. Gordon has been writing crosswords for nearly six decades, with her grids appearing regularly in The New York Times and other newspapers, magazines, and books since the 1950s. She’s something of a legend in the puzzle-making community, but today her status was cemented in the history books: with the publication of her most recent puzzle, she became the first and only centenarian to have a puzzle byline in the Times. Gordon doesn’t plan to retire from wordplay anytime soon. “[Crosswords] make my life,” she told the Portland Press Herald. “I couldn’t live without them.” [Huffington Post]
Meet Beth Davis of Tulsa, Oklahoma. She ran by Walmart to run and errand and stopped first in the women’s restroom. There should found a man, standing in front of the mirror partially clothed, jerking off. So Davis whipped out her cameraphone and started filming him as he tried to leave the store, while she yelled for someone to stop the man because he’d been masturbating But Walmart being Walmart, did nothing. In fact, as Davis told KJRH News, only one person — a vendor — tried to stop the man but was told by an employee not to touch him. Keep reading »