It is hard to remember a moment in my lifetime when Britain faced a greater crisis. A coup led by a small group of rightwing libertarians is all but complete, as the Vote Leave team has been reassembled and taken control of 10 Downing Street. They are set upon implementing the most extreme no-deal version of Brexit – and, most terrifyingly, we are running out of time to stop them.
At times of national crises political leaders need to bring a country together. But that is not happening. The government is hellbent on creating more divisions, scapegoating our friends and neighbours, and ignoring the inequality and democratic deficit that fuelled the Brexit vote.
It is not only a crash-out Brexit that threatens our future. There’s the climate emergency too, and an unscrupulous leader would have no qualms about manipulating it to justify the sweeping aside of democratic guarantees and people losing their rights. We have to avoid this danger.
In the wake of YouTube’s controversial decision not to pull videos containing homophobic and racist attacks, Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote an internal email acknowledging that “the LGBTQ+ community has felt a lot of pain and frustration over recent events.” While a few Google execs have already apologized for YouTube’s decision, Pichai’s email carries more weight given his position. The email, obtained by The Verge, also suggests that Google plans to conduct more internal discussions aimed at addressing its harassment policies.
In China, writing fanfiction can be dangerous. In the United States, although some authors used to be pretty litigious towards derivative works, fanfiction writers here don’t usually have to worry about anything more serious than a cease and desist. In China, creating fanworks can sometimes come with significant legal consequences, especially if what you’re writing is homoerotic. That’s why Chinese users are flocking to Archive Of Our Own, a fanfic site that allows broad free expression to fans who want to write fanworks, including LGBT fans.
Last year, the Chinese novelist Tianyi was sentenced to ten years in prison for publishing homoerotic fiction. Although making and selling pornography in China is illegal, The New York Times reported that even Chinese users on the site Weibo, which is basically Chinese Twitter, thought that the sentence was too harsh.
Over the past few years, a slew of similar books has attempted to fill the yawning gaps left in recorded history regarding women’s contributions. Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo’s Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls and its sequel taught girls to aspire to something more than tiaras and coma-kisses. Books aimed at adults such as 100 Nasty Women of History, the Forgotten Women series, Bloody Brilliant Women and A History of the World in 21 Women inspired but also educated, focusing on the many pioneering women who were rubbed out of school textbooks. There are several more titles dedicated to the strides many wondrous, hitherto invisible women have made in specific fields, countries, and time periods. The Little Leaders children’s series, for example, profiles “bold black women” in history.
For women (or at least for me), 30 is the age when the world becomes allowed to ask questions about whether or not we’re going to dust off the old uterus and put it to work. As my twenties wound down, questions about kids sped way up; family members, grad school professors, even relative strangers, like my hairdresser, began to think it entirely appropriate to ask me if I’d made any plans to get some sperm in these eggs. For some reason, 30 looms large in our cultural imagination as the age when women need to grow up and get a baby in us.
Recently GQ ran a story about a group of major tech players, including Jeff Bezos and company executives from LinkedIn and Dropbox, who met up in an Italian village to hang out with designer Brunello Cucinelli, for some reason. But Buzzfeed reporter Ryan Mac noticed something peculiar about one of the photos used in the article. Mainly, he thought the only two women in the photo, CEO of solar power company Sunrun Lynn Jurich and CEO of Peek.com Ruzwana Bashir, had been Photoshopped in.
U.S. Congressman Will Hurd has been disinvited to the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas this year where he was set to deliver a keynote address after questions were raised about his voting record.
Members of the security community this week drew attention to Hurd’s record on women’s issues, including the right to abortion, with some directly rebuking Black Hat over the decision to invite Hurd. TechCrunch first reported the story on Thursday.
In the U.K., advertisers will no longer ask women if they are “beach body ready,” and no more will men appear perplexed by basic tasks like doing the laundry, preparing dinner, or changing diapers. That’s because the country’s Advertising Standards Authority has banned sexist messaging in commercials, eliminating ads that portray men as being clumsy when performing household tasks, ads that suggest a particular physical ideal leads to success, and ads that imply women are responsible for household tasks, the New York Times reports,
The regulations, announced in December, are now fully in effect. The ASA will enforce the rule by reviewing ads on a case-by-case basis, but offered examples of scenarios that are “likely to be problematic,” such as:
The Sephora beauty chain will close all its US stores, distribution centers and corporate offices on Wednesday to conduct diversity training for employees, after a racial incident involving a Grammy-nominated singer.
R&B singer SZA, who is black, said in April she was racially profiled at a Sephora store in Calabasas, California.
“We have been informed of an incident at our Calabasas store and in addition to reaching out to SZA directly, we are gathering more information about the incident in order to take the proper next steps,” Emily Shapiro, a spokeswoman for Sephora, told Reuters in an email. “We take complaints like this very seriously, profiling on the basis of race is not tolerated at Sephora.“