Sex Harassment Laws Toughened in New York: ‘Finally, This Is Happening’

The New York Times

For decades, sexual harassment was the State Capitol’s worst-kept secret.

Even as women climbed the ranks of political power and won legal promises of gender equality, legislators avoided the topic of harassment. Female aides and even lawmakers who tried to complain were ignored or paid to be silent.

Even when harassment scandals burst into public view, lawmakers did not propose bills to strengthen workplace protections, promising instead to dedicate themselves to internal reform.

But under the newly Democrat-led Legislature, that era seems to have ended. Earlier this year, the state held its first public hearings on the issue in nearly 30 years. And on Wednesday, lawmakers passed sweeping anti-harassment legislation that supporters said would make New York’s laws among the most robust in the nation. Read more>>>

Anita Hill On Taking Down Sexual Assaulters: They May Be Loud But We’re Louder

Feme Stella

Since her days testifying for Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearings, Anita Hill has become a fierce advocate for sexual assault survivors.

The professor recently gave the commencement speech at Wellesley College and discussed how sexual assault deniers enable men to keep doing what they’re doing.

She told the graduating class,

“There are those who would have us believe that the stories and statistics, showing the prevalence of sexual misconduct are a hoax. They prefer to believe in their own myths, often misogynist, about the behavior.” Read more>>>

Joe Biden Expresses Regret to Anita Hill, but She Says ‘I’m Sorry’ Is Not Enough

The New York Times

Joe Biden knew Anita Hill was going to be an issue for him. So a few weeks ago, as he prepared for his presidential announcement, he reached out to her through an intermediary and arranged a telephone call, hoping to assuage her.

It did not go how he had hoped.

On Thursday, the first day of his presidential campaign, the Biden camp disclosed the call, saying the former vice president had shared with Ms. Hill “his regret for what she endured” 28 years ago, when, as the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he presided over the confirmation hearings in which she accused Clarence Thomas, President George Bush’s nominee to the Supreme Court, of sexual harassment. Read more>>>

Anita Hill & Katy Perry Awarded For Feminism At Brooklyn Museum

Patch

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK — Anita Hill and Katy Perry will be honored for their feminist workwith Diane von Furstenberg awards at the Brooklyn Museum Wednesday night.

The 10th annual DVF Awards will celebrate five women at the Brooklyn Museum, where Hill, now a professor of law and women’s studies at Brandeis University, will be awarded The Lifetime Leadership Award for her work fighting sexual harassment after she famously testified against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas at a U.S. Senate hearing. Read more>>>

It’s on you, Joe Biden

The Miami Hurricane

Last March, former Vice President Joe Biden was the keynote speaker at the It’s On Us rally at the Watsco Center. The It’s On Us movement is a social movement geared towards spreading awareness about sexual and gender-based violence. Along with other speakers, Biden spoke of his experience with trying to end sexual violence against women.

His speech was powerful and transparent; he seemed to be wholly committed to addressing sexual assault on campuses and informed about the topic. He talked about consent and how sexual abuse is more about power than it is about sex. He left us in awe at how capable of a leader he was. Yet, Biden has always had this shadow of allegations and events following him that doesn’t quite match up with the Biden that spoke to students at the University of Miami. Read more>>>

A New System to Ensure Sexual-Assault Cases Aren’t Forgotten

The Atlantic

Susan baisch has been conducting sexual-assault forensic exams for more than 27 years. Working as an emergency-room nurse for St. Luke’s hospital in Twin Falls, Idaho, Baisch has been specially trained to collect sexual-assault evidence in what are known as “rape kits.” The exam can be long and invasive, lasting four to six hours.

After assaults are reported, survivors’ bodies are treated like crime scenes and, if they so choose, searched, swabbed, and photographed, along with their clothes and other personal belongings, to find possible DNA evidence left by an attacker. Whatever evidence is found is then sealed in a sexual-assault evidence kit. The DNA can often be a crucial tool in prosecuting sexual assault. But that requires the kits to be tested by a police crime lab. Before 2016, forensic nurses didn’t always know what happened to the kits after they left their custody. Read more>>>

Women in Economics Report Rampant Sexual Assault and Bias

The New York Times

Nearly 100 female economists say a peer or a colleague has sexually assaulted them. Nearly 200 say they were the victim of an attempted assault. And hundreds say they were stalked or touched inappropriately, according to a far-reaching survey of the field.

The results, compiled by the American Economic Association, also reveal deep evidence of gender and racial discrimination within the field. Half of the women who responded to the survey said they had been treated unfairly because of their sex, compared with 3 percent of men. Nearly half of women said they had avoided speaking at a conference or a seminar to guard against possible harassment or “disrespectful treatment.” Seven in 10 women said they felt their colleagues’ work was taken more seriously than their own. Read more>>>

Nobody Celebrates You Like Your Sisters! What It’s Like to Attend ESSENCE’s Black Women In Hollywood Awards

Essence

Black Girl Magic has been en vogue these past few years, thanks to sistas across the diaspora who show up and show out in every possible way. Still, it’s one thing to write #BlackGirlMagic on a photo when you’re feeling yourself, or wear a shirt emblazoned with the phrase, but it’s quite another thing to literally be caught up in the rapture of the magic of Black women. But that’s exactly what happens every time you step into ESSENCE’s annual Black Women In Hollywood event.

This year, ESSENCE honored The Hate U Give’s Amandla Stenberg, If Beale Street Could Talk star Kiki Lane, veteran actor Regina Hall, and the legendary Jenifer Lewis. While it’s extremely hard to put into words the feelings of sisterhood, familiarity, and love that permeates the room each year, Lane summed it up beautifully when she said, “Being here…is showing me I’m not by myself.” Read more>>>

Barr hearing marks first time Senate Judiciary has GOP women serving on panel

The Hill

Two female Republican senators are serving on the Senate Judiciary Committee for the first time in the history of the panel.

Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) kicked off their first hearing on the panel on Tuesday, attending the high-profile hearing on President Trump’s nomination of William Barr to serve as his next attorney general. Read more>>>

FORMER NY TIMES EXECUTIVE EDITOR: SURE, THE TIMES’ REPORTING IS ANTI-TRUMP

Powerline 

Jill Abramson is a former executive editor of the New York Times. She made her name in 1995 with a book, co-written with Jane Meyer, taking Anita Hill’s side in the matter of Clarence Thomas — a battle she’s still waging after all these years.

The 1995 book was called “Strange Justice.” But Abramson seems a little strange herself. John ridiculed her for keeping a Barack Obama doll in her purse and calling on it for comfort in the distressing Age of Trump. Read more>>>

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