Yesterday afternoon, the news broke that Jill Abramson, the executive editor of The New York Times and the first-ever woman to hold that position, was leaving her position. Managing editor Dean Baquet would be replacing her, making him the first-ever African-American executive editor at the Times.
Jill Abramson had been managing editor at the Times (the number two position) since 2003 and before that was the Washington, D.C. bureau chief and an investigative reporter. She was appointed executive editor at the Times back in June 2011. If you don’t give a shit about the NYC media scene, the news may have simply looked like a personnel issue, indistinguishable from any other revolving door news item. But details about Abramson’s tenure and exit point to something bigger — shedding light on how the Times may have mistreated its first female executive editor and illustrating what it still means today to be a woman in power. Keep reading »
It’s been awhile since we’ve heard anything about Private Chelsea Manning, also known as Bradley Manning, a dishonorably discharged soldier who was sentenced to 35 years for leaking classified documents to Wikileaks. The last we heard from Manning was in August, when she had publicly come out as transgender and informed the world she wanted to be referred to as Chelsea. This announcement drew attention to the fact that she was being sentenced to confinement at Fort Leavenworth, an all-male prison. Keep reading »
The Cannes Film Festival begins today in France. Movie stars along the French Riviera sounds lovely, of course. But Cannes, and every other film festival, is always a reminder of women director’s underrepresentation in the movie business. In the past decade at Cannes, there have been several years when ZERO female directors have had a feature film screened — and that’s in pools of, like, 22 competing films. Keep reading »
Never thought you’d see the day when gay marriage was legal in Arkansas, did you?
That’s exactly what happened on Friday, when a circuit court judge in Little Rock stuck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, calling it unconstitutional. The ruling referenced a 2004 amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman; it also applied to a 1997 state law outright banning gay marriage.
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One hundred kidnapped Nigerian school girls have allegedly been seen for the first time since their abduction in a video acquired by the AFP news service. The video was reportedly filmed by Boko Haram, the Islamist extremist group who kidnapped over 200 teenaged girls from their boarding school in Chibok on April 14.
In the 17-minute video, the 100 girls wear veils and pray in Arabic; the video is cut with narration by someone from Boko Haram declaring that the girls have been “saved” by a conversion to Islam. (According to the Associated Press, the majority of the girls are Christians.) Boko Haram also reportedly kidnapped eight more girls from a different Nigerian village last week. The leader of Boko Haram has vowed to sell all the girls as wives, i.e. sold into sex slavery but recently said he would release the school girls in exchange for prisoners. [AP; Reuters]
When I think of the American Dream, I don’t just see images of white picket fences and fathers kissing their children before they leave for work.
I see an African-American mother of two dropping her children off at school and driving to her place of employment with the confidence that she’ll have enough gas to get to work and enough food to cook dinner. I imagine a Latina mother able to save enough money to help her son go to the college of his choice regardless of the rising cost of tuition. I see an America where working 40 hours a week allows women of all backgrounds the opportunity to gain prosperity and success. But how can anyone achieve such a dream on $7.25 an hour? They can’t.
We need to raise the minimum wage to at least $10.10 to help hardworking families who are struggling to scrape by. In tough economic times, there are few policies that could have as immediate, and as dramatic, of a boost for American workers, particularly for women of color. Keep reading »