Speaking by doing
University of Pennsylvania students removed a picture of William Shakespeare in the school's English department and replaced it with one of black feminist writer Audre Lorde. The department had voted a few years ago to relocate Shakespeare's portrait, to represent a more diverse voice, but had not yet done it - so students took matters into their own hands.
"When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak."
- Audre Lorde Source: The Root
Compiled by Mikki Morrissette
Why nine black women judges in Alabama is a big deal Alabama has a long history of under-representation and suppression of African-American justices and voters, which is why the election in November of nine black (Democratic) women as judges in Jefferson County, Alabama, was a notable achievement. Alabama is one of only seven states that continues to hold partisan judicial elections. Only two African Americans had been elected to any state-wide office in Alabama - ever.
In 1986, a federal judge concluded that more than 148 municipalities and 30 county school boards in Alabama were guilty of using racially motivated at-large voting systems. Most of those were dismantled through court orders, but judicial elections were left untouched. Nearly 65 percent of all murders in Alabama involve a black victim, and only 6 percent of all murders in the state involved a black defendant and a white victim, but 80 percent of the people on death row were convicted of killing a white person.
Source: Mother Jones, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Birmingham Times
Female doctors keep more patients alive Harvard researchers have found that female doctors who care for elderly hospitalized patients get better results, based on a random review of more than 1 million Medicare patients. Patients cared for by women were less likely to die or return to the hospital after discharge, which might be because female physicians "have a more patient-centered communication style, are more encouraging and reassuring, and have longer visits than male physicians." The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, is the first to show a big difference in life or death. The study's authors estimate "that approximately 32,000 fewer patients would die if male physicians could achieve the same outcomes as female physicians every year."
Female physicians average nearly $20,000 less in pay.
Source: NPR, The Atlantic
Women owned From 2007 to 2016 the number of women-owned businesses in the U.S. increased by 3.5 million, according to the "The State of Women-Owned Businesses 2016" report commissioned by American Express. Employment in these businesses increased 18 percent, while across all businesses it dropped by 1 percent. In Minnesota there are an estimated 169,000 women-owned firms (up from 133,000 in 2007) employing more than 201,000 employees with sales of more than $27 million.
High numbers of abuses in gymnastics USA Gymnastics, which determines who competes for Team USA, is under investigation for widespread allegations of abuse, and a failure to adequately protect or support victims. In the last 20 years, 368 gymnasts have come forward with an abuse allegation; 115 adults have been accused of abuse. The victims were teenagers or preteens, the youngest of which was six, and almost all of them were girls.
USA Gymnastics policy has been to focus on advice to its members on how to deal with sexual abuse rather than practical ways to prevent it.
Source: Jezebel, Indy Star
Overprotective men? Men are more likely than women to be opposed to transgender people using public bathrooms of their choice - especially when it is the women's bathroom, according to a study published in the journal Gender Issues.
Men's concerns seemed to come from their view as themselves as the protectors of women and to a lesser degree men tended to be more trans phobic than women. Rebecca Stones, the researcher from Nankai University in China and Monash University in Australia indicated that men may believe they are voicing women's concerns - even when they are not.
Bathroom bill advocates argue it is to "protect women and children," but men seem to be more concerned about that than women.
The link between abortion care and depression People who are able to end an unwanted pregnancy experience better mental health than those denied care, according to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry. It indicates that abortion care does not lead to depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem, as some opponents claim.
"The study suggests that expanding access to abortion, not restricting it, is what is going to protect women's mental health," said Dr. M. Antonia Biggs, lead author of the study and a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco.
The study followed for five years 956 women from 30 abortion facilities in 21 states; some of the women were able to end their pregnancies, and some were not. Women who wanted to terminate their pregnancies but were unable to do so reported greater anxiety and lower self-esteem immediately after being turned away.