What sets you apart?

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Angelia Jolie’s Profound Advice For Her 3 Daughters Belongs on Every Billboard

As I cruise into another year, another birthday coming March 18, I often think about the legacy I will leave for younger women. When I come across something that resonates and hopefully will be meaningful to all of you, I #love to share. This article is published in PopSugar

Angelina Jolie is stunning on the latest cover of Elle magazine, but it’s her words that are capturing hearts everywhere. The badass mom of six sat down with former Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss her campaign against the use of rape and sexual violence as weapons of war, why she believes positive change for women’s rights can happen globally if men and women work together, and the advice she gives her three daughters, Vivienne, 9, Shiloh, 11, and Zahara, 13.

“I tell my daughters, ‘What sets you apart is what you are willing to do for others'” Angelina shared. “‘Anyone can put on a dress and makeup. It’s your mind that will define you. Find out who you are, what you think, and what you stand for. And fight for others to have those same freedoms. A life of service is worth living.'”

The First They Killed My Father director also shared why she feels attitudes about sexual violence must change in addition to changing laws. “I think of how hard women fought to get us to where we are today,” she said. “Everything counts, from the way you hold yourself in daily life and educate yourself on your own rights, to solidarity with other women around the world.”

The interview, which hits newsstands on Feb. 20, aims to raise awareness for International Women’s Day on March 8. “When it comes down to it, we still treat violence against women as a lesser crime,” Angelina continued. “In some countries, sexual violence is less of a taboo discussion. It’s something more people expect their leaders to act on.”

Fortunately, the 42-year-old humanitarian sees progress being made. “Over 150 countries have signed a commitment to end impunity for war-zone rape. There are new teams in place to gather evidence and support prosecutions. I was in Kenya last summer as UN peacekeeping troops received new training since peacekeepers have been part of the problem. We’re working with NATO on training, protection, and getting more women in the military. But there is so far to go.”

 

 

28 Of The Most Powerful Pieces Of Writing By Women In 2017 Sometimes collective rage turns into beautiful words.

By Emma GrayScreen Shot 2017-12-18 at 9.27.37 PM

 

There were times in 2017 when it felt like rage might burn me up from the inside out. At times, that anger felt paralyzing. When there is so much happening at once, how do you focus your energies?

During these moments, it was always reading that jolted me and my colleagues into action ― a piece about the Women’s March that made us get off our couches and show up, or a piece on a raucous summer blockbuster that made us remember that joy can be a radical act. So for the sixth time, we’ve curated a list of pieces that had an effect on us as readers over the last calendar year.

To make the list, an article had to be (1) published in 2017, (2) written by a woman and (3) available online. Below are 28 of those pieces that moved us this year. They are a reminder that even in the darkest of times, storytelling matters.

Rebecca Traister, New York Magazine

In this extended moment of reckoning regarding sexual assault and harassment, we are all implicated, Rebecca Traister argues. Because when you’ve spent a lifetime both experiencing violations and being complicit in a system that allows them, the process of a collective reckoning is a difficult one. It brings painful self-reflection, anxiety over a brewing backlash (“A powerful white man losing a job is a death, and don’t be surprised if women wind up punished for the spate of killings”), and, potentially, the promise of catharsis and eventual equality. Some women, Traister points out, might realize they’ve waited their whole lives to tell stories they didn’t even know they carried.

 

Ijeoma Oluo, The Stranger

Ijeoma Oluo wanted to avoid Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who passed herself off as a black woman for a decade. But when that became impossible, she interviewed her instead. What followed is a striking piece of journalism, an interview that really digs into the core of what drives the relationship Dolezal has with blackness. As Oluo writes, “I couldn’t escape Rachel Dolezal because I can’t escape white supremacy. And it is white supremacy that told an unhappy and outcast white woman that black identity was hers for the taking.”

 

Lindy West,  The New York Times

This piece has one of the best headlines of the year. And it only gets better from there. As Lindy West outlined in the wake of the first round of Harvey Weinstein allegations, “The witches are coming, but not for your life. We’re coming for your legacy.” As 2017 comes to a close, the hunt continues.

 

Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, GQ

Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah’s stunning long read on Dylann Roof, the now 23-year-old man who murdered nine black parishioners at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, attempts to answer a big question: How did “one of the coldest killers of our time” come to be? Ghansah spoke to Roof’s teachers, classmates, friends and family members, concluding that Roof is a terrifying omen. He is “a child both of the white-supremacist Zeitgeist of the Internet and of his larger environment […] It is possible that Dylann Roof is not an outlier at all, then, but rather emblematic of an approaching storm.”

 

Jenn Gann, The Cut

For Jenn Gann, fighting for justice for her beloved son who was born with cystic fibrosis means considering that he should never have been born. Gann’s exploration of “wrongful birth” cases ― in which the parents of a child with a congenital disease claim that medical professionals failed to properly warn them of their child’s condition before birth ― is deeply personal, raw and heart-wrenching. This story complicates the narrative people usually consider when discussing terms like “pro-life” and “pro-choice.” “After all this pain and humiliation and anger boiled down to records and money and who did what,” Gann writes, “the love I have for my son feels like the one thing that can’t be taken from me.”

 

Ashley Nkadi, The Root

The headline says it all. “There will come a day when the same nation that stepped on black women will run, shouting, at our doors to save it,” Ashley Nkadi writes. “And we will whisper ‘no.’”

Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, The New York Times

This is the piece of journalism that set off a reckoning. Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey spent months reporting out this story about the years of sexual harassment and assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein. We will be sorting through the consequences of this stellar piece of journalism for years to come.

 

Rebecca Traister, New York Magazine

There is so much to say about Hillary Clinton, the equal-parts-beloved-and-reviled woman who almost became president. Rebecca Traister draws a portrait of a candid, exhausted, powerful, funny, worried, determined and (understandably), angry woman, recovering from a grueling presidential campaign and looking toward an uncertain future for the nation she spent her life working for.

 

Maris Kreizman, The New York Times

In a moment when we often get our news, our life updates, our job opportunities and our dates via algorithm, sometimes it’s healthy ― and downright heartening ― to remember that “the best things in life are unquantifiable.”

 

Jessica Bennett, The New York Times

I cried the first time I saw “Wonder Woman.” Jessica Bennett, who saw the film in Brooklyn, surrounded by girls and women of all ages, gets to the root of why viewers like me had such an intense reaction to seeing the superhero on the big screen. “There was something deeply visceral about it: a depiction of a hero we never knew we needed, a hero whose gender was everything but also nothing.”

 

Doreen St. Felix, MTV News

In January, Doreen St. Felix dove into the conundrum that is Omarosa’s public image, career and eventual position within the Trump administration. “She has not risen high enough to elicit any emotion besides pity,” St. Felix concluded. In December, knowing how Omarosa’s time in the White House ended, St. Felix’s assessment feels even more vital.

 

Gemma Hartley, Harper’s Bazaar

There’s a reason that Gemma Hartley’s piece on emotional labor struck such a chord. Not only is it a perfect mix of personal essay and reporting, but it also defines a type of work that women have been doing without acknowledgment or much public discussion for years, for decades … for forever.

 

Jennifer Weiner, The New York Times

In a year that was sometimes difficult to find anything to be grateful for, Jennifer Weiner’s beautiful love note to brave women is an editorial salve for the soul.

 

Allison P. Davis, New York Magazine

Cardi B is a celebrity for our time: a bombastic rapper with raw talent and a powerful lack of shame about her body, her roots, and her monetary success. Allison P. Davis’ profile of the artist is as fun a read as Cardi’s hit “Bodak Yellow” is a listen.

 

Continue reading at https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/best-writing-by-women-2017_us_5a37f219e4b0ff955ad54274

Thanks, Huffington Post and Emma Gray

Why didn’t I go to the police?

 

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I was 16 the first time. My girlfriend was dating a cop and he had a work-mate. She suggested we double date. The details are unimportant, let’s just say that before it got critical I talked myself out of the situation with promises of a future date. On a positive note, I look back on it now and know that’s when I realized I could have a career in sales!

The second time was my divorce lawyers—two brothers. Yes, my lawyers. I was 21. And after that, it was the photographer who wanted to shoot lingerie for my modeling portfolio. In those days, I would say I was a good Catholic girl—I’d even been a nun for a year! But I grew up quickly and really, I don’t think I ever thought of it as rape or assault; it was more of men I knew or trusted always trying to get to “third base” with pretty women.

I come from a different generation. I wasn’t a hippy but many around me were. Pot was prevalent, as was free love. Was I sexually harassed? For sure. And did they get to “third base?” Sadly, sometimes it seemed easier to just give in.

Today the stakes are higher. And the situations have become more controlling, frightening and violent. We can thank easily accessible debasing porn, the degradation of women, and the widespread sexualization of teenage girls. Society accepts and expects nudity from women. It’s almost the only way a young woman can be a success in the media today. It’s hypocritical but factual.

When I was young, you never talked about these things. Everyone had “an uncle” who looked at you weird. We talked about it amongst the cousins, but for the most part, it never seemed to go further than a “feeling” that something wasn’t right. Sexual assault was very much a behind-closed-door family event.

Harvey Weinstein is no longer on my radar although he has certainly stirred up old memories in many women not only from my generation but all generations. I always had to fight for equality in totally male-dominated fields like fashion: retail and wholesale. The bosses were men. And we knew, as women, that we had to move quickly and try to never be alone with the one that gave us the “look.” And that was 40 years ago.

But there are different levels of assault or abuse—the ones from people you know, and extremely violent attacks from a rapist. And like a bad marriage, a bad boss or someone in a position of power that can control your destiny, it’s a very frightening experience that can leave you damaged for life. I think I was one of the lucky ones. I let it all go a long time ago and have no desire to revisit any of it except to make a point. There is nothing new about what is coming to light in the media today.

For years men have been sexually assaulting their wives. We all know a woman who was hurt by her husband. She forgave him, and he hurt again—emotionally, physically and/or sexually. We’ve lived with it our whole lives only we never really talked about it.

Why am I writing about this today? Terry Richardson a world-famous photographer—famous for his sexually explicit photo shoots, has been accused of molesting, masturbating, assaulting for years. And the industry allegedly knew it. Some magazines took the allegations seriously and stopped working with him–but only in the last few years. Others didn’t. Sound familiar? Today Huffington Post reported:

Condé Nast International, the company that publishes Vogue, GQ and W, confirmed to HuffPost it will no longer work with fashion photographer Terry Richardson, who has been accused of sexual assault or harassment by multiple women. The news was first reported late Monday night by The Telegraph, which obtained an e-mail to country presidents from Condé Nast’s executive vice president and COO, James Woolhouse:

 Mr. Woolhouse wrote: ’I am writing to you on an important matter. Condé Nast would like to no longer work with the photographer Terry Richardson.

’Any shoots that have been commission[ed] or any shoots that have been completed but not yet published, should be killed and substituted with other material.

‘Please, could you confirm that this policy will be actioned in your market effective immediately. Thank you for your support in this matter.’

Condé Nast International, which confirmed the wording of the email to HuffPost but declined to comment further, was one of a number of companies that continued to work with the controversial photographer for years after women came forward with accusations of sexual assault and harassment

 

In 2001, model Liskula Cohen walked out of a photoshoot for Vogue after she said Richardson asked her to get completely naked, while he was also naked, and pretend to perform a sex act on another man. A woman named Anna told Jezebel in 2014 that he pressed his penis against her face during a shoot in 2008. Former model Charlotte Waters told Vocativ that he ran “his tongue up and down her bare ass, demanded she squeeze his balls and even jacked off into her eye” when he photographed her in 2009.

In 2014, model Emma Appleton shared a message purporting to come from Richardson in which she was offered a Vogue photo shoot in exchange for sex.

A spokesman from Condé Nast U.S. told HuffPost Tuesday morning that “Condé Nast has nothing planned with him going forward,” adding that “sexual harassment of any kind is unacceptable and should not be tolerated.” (a little late to be saying that Condé Nast. Worried about lawsuits??)

Many in my generation–baby boomers–felt powerless, angry, and defeated; but we knew there was absolutely nothing that would be done. It was his word against ours, so we had to let it go and live with the memories.

It’s so much more than sexual assault. It’s emotional assault. It can be debilitating and last a lifetime. You can heal the body, but memories linger forever. Do you think all this talk is going to change this type of male predatory behavior? I would like to believe things will change, but I don’t. I think it will be pushed underground like all other vices that have been declared criminal. This type of behavior has been illegal for a long time, and no one stood up for the victims before some very powerful men were exposed this year.

So, what’s going to happen? Tons of lawsuits. Victims will be more open and get the therapy they need. Will those on the fringes–not yet exposed–seek counseling, and change their ways? I doubt it. Maybe they will think twice or be more careful of how and when they stalk their victims. And then again, maybe they won’t.

 

 

 

Photo Canstock

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/terry-richardson-conde-nast_us_59ef3c58e4b0d14acdcc7a73?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

#pussy

There’s a new face splashed across Huffington Post, TMZ and all the tabloids, and it’s not Donald Trump.

She’s quite stunning actually; some might say beautiful. She walks like a model, dresses in fashionable clothing. Everything she’s done in her past is out there for the public to laugh at, criticize and demonize.

She’s been married to President Donald Trump for eleven years. They dated for seven before that. Do you really believe she doesn’t know about his personal life? Do you think she hasn’t heard from some of his women? Or overheard the boys joking about lawsuits and settlements? Do you think the “pussy” talk has not been spoken in her presence?

Imagine what it must be like to live with this man. Can you see her preparing a speech to be a part of something she clearly doesn’t want or need? Feel her embarrassment when a staffer screws up the most important speech of her life. How would you like to listen to the recorded conversation of your husband talking about “grabbing pussy” over and over again? And imagine her embarrassment at the redicule she is receiving because she brought a gift to the WH for outgoing FLOTUS Michelle Obama.

Put yourselves in her shoes.

Is she a smart woman? A gold-digger? A home wrecker? It’s not for us to judge. She knows exactly who she is married to…better than any news service or tabloid. And that’s why she is choosing to stay in Manhattan during the week. If her man wants to play, he’s free to do so. But she doesn’t need to be there to witness it.

Tomorrow January 22, 2017 is her twelfth wedding anniversary. Don’t underestimate her. This is going to be a very interesting four years.