In the News: October 2019

Blogs Incite Distrust of the Muslim Community

In September 2019, City Pages published an article about several conservative blogs that perpetuate anti-Muslim beliefs. “Despite the stereotype of a rural ‘Trump Country’ lashing out at immigrants,” the lengthy article indicated, “most of Minnesota’s aggressively negative news about Muslims is produced by a group of Twin Cities donors, policy wonks, and strategists tied to the state’s most powerful Republican organizations.”


Women’s Advocates opened its first shelter in 1972 (courtesy photo)

Shelter Celebrates 45th Anniversary

The nation’s first domestic shelter for women and children was started in Minnesota. In 1972, Women’s Advocates in St. Paul founded as a divorce rights legal information line. Volunteers soon realized that a majority of callers sought safety from abusive partners. Within two years, Women’s Advocates had raised funds to open a shelter. The organization helped establish legal protection for women and children in Minnesota, passing some of the first domestic violence legislation in the country.


Unnamed Women at the Minnesota State Capitol

Sydney Shea, a graduate student at the University of Minnesota, researched the gender disparity of statues displayed at the State Capitol. Shea found 11 statues, 12 busts, and two plaques honoring named men, and only two plaques honoring named women. She found eight sculptures of women around the Capitol, but they represented abstract concepts like “youth” and “wisdom.” Additionally, the statues do not reflect the racial diversity of the state.


Monetizing the #MeToo Movement

The Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault opposes the use of at-home forensic evidence collection kits — or “rape kits” — marketed to the public and on college campuses, specifically by the MeTooKit company. These at-home kits have potentially negative impacts on survivors of sexual assault, and both federal and state law dictates that a trained medical professional must complete a forensic exam. A professional exam also provides access to STI and pregnancy prevention options. MNCASA warns survivors against purchasing at-home kits and is opposed to supporting companies looking to profit from assault. A forensic medical exam can be completed even if the survivor chooses not to report the incident to law enforcement.