BY KIMBERLY ROSE
While the fight may continue in the U.S., Scotland is moving ways ahead with women’s health with their newest announcement. Scotland will become the first country in the world to hand out free sanitary products to low-income women – a new initiative that was announced last Tuesday. The project will run a pilot for six months in low-income parts of Aberdeen, Scotland – a coastal city with a population of 212,000. It’s expected for at least 1,000 women and girls to benefit from the scheme.
With the increasing number of women and girls who are using newspaper or toilet paper (and not the costlier tampons or towels), this trial is necessary to tackle “period poverty.”
“The pilot in Aberdeen is a first step to help us understand the barriers women and girls face – and to help us develop a sensitive and dignified solution to making these products easily accessible to those who need them,” said Equalities Secretary Angela Constance.
The trial will be run by Community Food Initiatives (CFINE), a social enterprise which focuses on improving the health of impoverished areas. The Scottish government allegedly gave around $12,000 to CFINE for the program.
CFINE CEO Dave Simmers said that throughout a woman’s life, hygienic products add up to cost more than 5,000 pounds on average – much too expensive for those with a low income. The trial will do whatever it can to guarantee dignity, as it shouldn’t be shameful to reach out for help.
Just last week, Scotland and Wales announced their plans to offer Northern Irish women access to free abortions, so this isn’t the only recent win in Scotland. With women’s health becoming more of a priority elsewhere, hopefully, other countries will follow in the same footsteps.
BY KIMBERLY ROSE
Olympic gold medalist and No. 1 ranked men’s single tennis player Andy Murray may have been eliminated from the annual Wimbledon tournament in the quarter-final on Wednesday, but the Brit is no less a fan favorite on and off the courts. Regardless of his many championship titles, Murray has always been liked for his comments and comebacks against sexism in sports. After the disappointing loss to American player Sam Querrey, Murray didn’t hesitate to correct a reporter in their failure to acknowledge American female players with titles.
When the reporter mentioned that Querrey is the first U.S. player to reach a major semifinal since 2009, Murray jumped in – clarifying that that’s not the case with U.S. female competitors. American athlete Serena Williams, for example, has won 14 Grand Slam tournaments since 2009, but the reporter failed to consider that. In sports, women often face scrutiny for their ability, their looks, all of it. Williams was even asked once why she seemed unhappy to be at a conference, but there’s hope that this theme will end.
This hasn’t been the only tennis win for feminism this week as Murray also proposed a call for female players to get equal billing on the Wimbledon show courts. As of now, Centre Court and Court No. 1 have three matches a day – two for men’s and one for women’s. Murray suggested that with starting the matches a bit earlier, there could be two men’s and two women’s on Centre. An equal split of matches across the tournament would be fair for all and maybe with this improvement, female competitors wouldn’t be forgotten or overlooked.
Murray became passionate about the inequality between men and women in sports after seeing how his female coach, Amélie Mauresmo, was treated. Whenever Murray would lose, former World No. 1 Mauresmo would somehow catch the blame – unlike any of the male coaches Murray had in the past or observed elsewhere in the sport. Murray has done his fair share to speak out for female athletes – from competitors to coaches – in the past and we shouldn’t expect that to end anytime soon.
In a blog, Murray wrote, “Have I become a feminist? Well, if being a feminist about fighting so that a woman is treated like a man then yes, I suppose I have.”
BY EMANI COLLINS
As most Georgia residents know, on May 4th of this year, Governor Nathan Deal signed an act that would allow college students and other campus officials to carry concealed guns on school campuses. Uh oh. Of course, this new measure sparked disagreements in Georgia’s communities. Some people are for the act, while others believe that it is unnecessary. Social media has been an important outlet after the pronouncement of this bill. Many individuals got the news through their Twitter and Facebook accounts. Individuals took to Twitter to discuss the large dispute that the state is now facing.
It is important to observe this topic now because Saturday, July 1st, 2017, is the day when it will officially be legal to carry guns on college campuses in the state of Georgia! Yes, you heard me. Your daughter, who may be a rising senior at the University of Georgia, might have to sit right next to a student carrying a gun. While at Georgia Southern, your nephew may be walking to his ENG 101 course with another student who has a weapon placed in their backpack. Your best friend who attends Albany State University may have to sit in the campus’ dining hall with tons of individuals holding guns. How do you feel about this?
Everyone understands that crime is essentially inevitable. College campuses are known for having robberies, sexually violent acts and shootings. Yes, shootings. Just because this bill has been signed, does not mean that guns have never been on college campuses before. This is just the icing on the cake. The governor has simply just made it legal to carry. Of course, the bill does have a few exclusions. You must be 21 years of age or older and licensed to carry a gun. Also, you can carry your gun to most areas on campuses, but certain parts such as student and Greek housing, administrative offices and classrooms in which high school students will be present are prohibited. How will one be able to keep up with all of this? Time will tell.
Many government officials believe that individuals should be able to protect themselves on college campuses. House of Representatives’ members approved the bill with 108 yeas and 63 nays. Many agree that protection is a priority, but are guns the only means of defense? If only students who are 21 years of age and older and who are licensed to carry are able to “protect” themselves, what happens to the other students who are underage? The bill could bring a lot of positives to campuses across the state, but it could also have a ton of negatives as well.
I spoke with individuals who will be most affected by the bill—parents, faculty of college campuses and students.
Ericka Williams of Atlanta, an educator and a parent of two, recent college graduates, exclaimed, “I disagree with the bill. To carry a gun requires maturity and training—something most young adults do not have. Young adults react emotionally, and guns would cause more hurt than help. More officers on campus would be a better choice.”
Collegiate Track and Field coach, Tony Hawkins, from East Point, says, “The bill does not seem like the best idea. We already have enough students using guns irresponsibly, so I am not sure how this will help.”
Destini Smith is a student at Augusta University, and she states, “If people have a license to carry, I think that it is okay for them to have their guns on campuses. The bill could be a blessing and a curse because there are always individuals who abuse the law. Whether you are on campus or not, there is always someone out there who has a firearm on them; this just makes it legal for them to have it on campuses.”
House Bill 280 will definitely change the culture of many campuses across the state. Whether you believe in the bill, or wish it was never brought to the Georgia community, July 1st is among us. With summer classes being in session during this time and the Fall semester approaching quickly, be sure to remain aware of all laws involving guns on your local college campus. Keep your family members and friends informed. Always pay attention!
Feel free to comment below with your opinion on the new law within the state of Georgia
Why “Grab Her By The Pussy” is NOT Funny and Detrimental To Our Society: bECAUSE FOR SOME REASON IT STILL NEEDS EXPLAINING
BY HEATHER BELLEW
Not to long ago I was talking with a high school friend of mine about a rally I had attended after the Presidential election. Like others, students at UGA gathered at the Arch to protest the election of Donald J. Trump. As we stood there with our signs, chanting, a crowd began to grow. At first people were just staring, but then they began to shout things at us. After a while, what I can only assume were fraternity students because of the logos on their trucks started driving around Downtown Athens, repeatedly. One truck in particular drove around several times with a Bill Clinton mask and yelled “Grab Her By The Pussy”. As I am telling my friend this story he starts to laugh. I am obviously really frustrated and asked him why in the world he would think something like that is funny. His response was as follows, “Just imagine you are in Panama City and people are doing this on the strip randomly, wouldn’t you think that was funny?” (I am still confused why all of the sudden we were including Panama City.)
So apparently people need to know why this is not funny! Women make up roughly half of the population, so why are their voices silenced? Mary Beard, a professor at Cambridge University says, “An integral part of growing up as a man is learning to take control of public utterance and to silence the female of the species”.
Not only does “Grab Her By The Pussy” take away all control, it allows for the use of violence to silence a woman. When a phrase is turned into a joke, it takes away a sense of power. What I mean by this is, when some say that this is a terrible, sexist, and violent thing to say, others say it is just a joke or “locker-room talk,” and being that it is the societal norm, especially for women, we take it as a joke and move on.
The problem is Sexual Assault is not a joke; it is not funny. Because of “jokes” like this, sexual assault and sexual violence are on the rise in our society. One in five women, in her lifetime have been the survivor of attempted or completed rape. One in two women have experienced sexual violence other than rape. Most women experience sexual violence before age 25, and half of women experience this before age 18. In the state of Georgia, according to the AJC in 2013 Emory had the most sexual assault allegations for colleges. In 2014, there were 35 reports of sexual assault that included fraternities.
These stats may seem outrageous and possibly unbelievable and I wish that were the case; however, these stats are real and are only getting worse. We must come together and fight to have our voices heard about things like this. We cannot allow our power to be taken away, so we must come together: men and women, young and old, liberal and conservative and fight the good fight because we are worth it!
BY KIMBERLY ROSE
The pieces in the exhibition were chosen through submissions addressing the summer initiative – embracing female impact symbolically and or figuratively. In a city and in spaces controlled by institutions, SaveArtSapce is taking control and creating physical change.
The featured talented artists of the movement include: Elise Peterson, Lissa Rivera, Beth Brown, Sara Meadows, Nina Summer, Allie Kelley, Jess Whittam, Fanny Allié, Mónica Félix, and Julie Orlick. And if you’re interested seeing their work somewhere rather than a billboard, the same selected artists will be showcased at The Storefront Project, with an opening reception on July 7th at 6 pm. Additionally, the project would be nowhere without the talented curator involved with The Future is Female. The all-female curators include: Alyse Archer-Coité, Marie Tomanová, Sandra Hong, Brittany Natale, and Meryl Meisler. If you’re interested in seeing all of the work submitted to this great cause, you can check that out on SaveArtSpace’s here.
With organizations and exhibits like this one, communities can gain broader artistic capabilities and appreciation. Especially in today’s political climate – art allows expression of progressive social change and commentary. If you’re in New York this summer – maybe look up at what was once annoying billboards that crowded the air and you might find an empowering piece of art!
BY AWA DIA
Lately, when I turn on the television, open up my news app, or scroll down the timeline of my social media platforms I’ve seen more deaths than positive growth. Most of the larger causalities of citizens in a country are done by a terrorist. Terrorism is a battle that the world has been trying to combat for decades, and not many have been able to come up with a positive plan that will prevent this from happening.
In the past decade, it is clear that terrorist attacks in the United States, and throughout the world have increased tremendously and no one seems to have a solution.Other than violence, bans, and regulations; but I think our first step should be opening up a conversation.
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are the three main religious groups in the United States. The three have some commonalities, but many differences. In my opinion, and from the places I’ve been to, it is clear that each religious group has their own community and it is very rare when you find a church, synagogue, and mosque right next to one another.
Recently, I came across an article on CNN about a rabbi, reverend, and an imam coming together in the middle of America. The three religious leaders decided to create a $65 million project called the Tri-Faith Initiative.
After reading through the article, I decided to do a little bit more research on the project. When I explored the website I was so shocked and thrilled to see people taking a stride on to the greens side of the grass. The project is based out of Omaha, Nebraska where a Mosque, Synagogue, and Church can view one another’s place of worship from right outside their windows.
The organization allows each religion to build up their own place of worship, and run the place in the way they chose. At the same time, all of the religious groups come together to “challenge stereotypes, learn through conversation, and to counter the influence of extremists and agents of hate.”
The whole website promotes respect towards each religion. I think a lot of hate stems from the lack of understanding. If we as humans, no matter the situation, race relations, religious differences, and social class do not open up the conversation then we will create a breeding ground for hate.
If we as a society continue to just spew hate, then we will not be able to overcome this terrorism, and we will only create more of a misunderstanding. The Tri-Faith Initiative has even gone on to create a very inclusive prayer for all three of the faiths.
We, the members of the three Abrahamic faiths --
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam --
impelled by visitors of human harmony,
wish to share our grand and mutual heritage,
that is the belief in and worship of One Almighty God.
Personally, I do not identify with any specific religion at the moment, but after reading through the mission of this organization I wish I could join all three religions.
Not only does the organization keep everything inclusive, but it also works toward a world peace mission. The organization is currently looking to create a co-location in West Omaha. Tri-Faith sees a nationwide expansion and hopes to spread the word of peace to everyone.
It is time for our society to lead and follow by positive examples. It is time for us to start opening up a conversation , respecting the views of others, and educating ourselves on what we are afraid of. I encourage anyone reading this article to look into the Tri-Faith Initiative, it is what I believe everyone who promotes world peace thinks of in their mind. "Aleichem Shalom” “, Salaam-Alaikum”, and “God Bless you.”
BY AWA DIA
Earlier this week I was scrolling down my timeline, and I saw that my cousin reposted an article from VOX about Bill Cosby. The headline titled“, I believe Bill Cosby.” At first, I was taken back, a little angry but I decided to click on the link anyway. Making my way through the article I soon realized that it was an open letter. As soon as I read the first sentence of this article I could not stop reading.
“ Bill Cosby, let me say this: I believe you.
I believe you when you say in a 2005 deposition that “yes,” you give women Quaaludes.
I believe you when you say you knew it was illegal to get the prescriptions. (I also believe that the gynecologist who gave them to you knew you really shouldn’t be his patient in the first place.)
I believe you when you describe your version of what consent means, one that isn’t so much based on “yes.”
Cosby’s case was declared a mistrial, but it said a lot about how difficult it is for women to prove rape. I personally was unaware of how difficult it was for women to prove rape. So… what really prevents rape case prosecution?
1.Not enough Rape kit nurses
The sad truth is that sexual assault situations are not like Law & Order SVU. The New York Times an article headlined“,Where are the Rape-Kitt Nurses ?” There are not many rape-kit nurses in any hospital in U.S. The small amount of rape-kit nurses are more common in rural areas. Even if a survivor gets a rape-kit the examination will take up to six hours. The NYT article includes the extensive testing for this kit.
You would imagine that the six-hour long rape-kit would be enough evidence, but no. According to the NYT article, It has been a national issue for some time. Many rape kits go untested across the U.S. A rape kit can give all the information one would need to prosecute for a rape charge.
3.Statutes of limitations
This one, in my opinion, is extremely unfair. I don’t think many people understand how difficult it is for survivors to come forward with their assaults. There are so many factors that keep someone quiet for a long time. Their attacker could be close to them (family, friend, authority figure, ex-boyfriend.) They could also worry about their life is at risk or just the idea of anyone knowing. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) reported that only 344 of every 1,000 rapes are reported. In addition to that, they reported: “Out of every 1000 rapes, 994 perpetrators will walk free.”
4. Bias Bias Bias
I personally believe that when someone says they’ve been stabbed or shot people would believe them. When a rape victim says they’ve been taken advantage of, many are lead to automatically believe that they’re lying. If your friend got stabbed you would be more likely to say “, Oh my gosh, are you okay?” It would be weird to say,“Are you sure?” “Were you drunk?” “What were you wearing?” I just wonder why our country does not like to discuss the topic of rape?
5.Reputation is more important than the victim.
I think this is something that has been brought to attention in the past few years. From college campuses to Hollywood, it is very clear that people think about reputation more than the person that has been assaulted. We see this in the news all the time. The college football player, the football coach, the teacher, and even America’s Dad. Not all of them get away with what they did, but reputation is most important.
I challenge you all to open up the conversation. It’s definitely more than “he said she said.”
BY CARDINE JOHNSON
Georgia’s peach farmers have seen a massive decline in their crop yields this year due to unseasonably high winter weather and freezing in the spring. These farmers have lost approximately 80 percent of their crops and nearly 50 million dollars due to this devastation according to Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black’s office.
Farmers in the State of Georgia are not the only state impacted by crop failure. South Carolina has lost more than 85 percent of their crop as reported by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture. California is not too far behind with their loss of the peach crop as well. However, it’s not just farmer’s who are being impacted. This severe loss of crops is devastating for farmhands who spend as much as nine months pruning the trees.
In 2016, the Georgia Peach Council indicated the peach crop was strong and able to yield an approximate 35 percent increase with a large profit predicted for farmers. The solution some farmers have decided to come up with this season? Simply, keeping their supply local while it lasts, foregoing, the price of shipping and storing peaches. This means the supply of peaches may seem normal at the start of the summer, locally speaking. However, these Southern Peaches won’t be missed too terribly in northern states as their peaches are on track to have a great season.
BY KIMBERLY ROSE
One can only imagine the pain of losing a loved one and on top of that, having to go to work as if everything was normal. You feel broken, you’re drowning in sorrow, but you still have to go on as a normal, responsible human. Luckily, more and more companies are recognizing the pain that so often affects their employees and remains taboo in workplaces.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 60 percent of workers in the private sector have access to paid bereavement through their employers – which is simply not enough. Death affects everyone, not just 60 percent.
Facebook, though, along with several other companies, is starting the conversation about grief and has doubled its paid death leave. In February, they made the choice to now offer up to 20 paid days off for any employees that lose an immediate family member, and offer 10 days of paid leave to those mourning the death of an extended family member.
This spark of change was initiated by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who knows grief all too well and decided it was time for a change. Sandberg lost her husband Dave on May 15 and understands the process of recovery and healing that each employee should have a right to. Announcing the decision in February, Sandberg took her thoughts on her company’s policy to social media. “Amid the nightmare of Dave’s death when my kids needed me more than ever, I was grateful every day to work for a company that provides bereavement leave and flexibility,” wrote Sandberg. “Today, we’re taking another step.”
Facebook is outstanding when it comes to paid leave and understanding situations that can arise and affect employee’s daily lives. The company offers four months for all new parents as well as paid family leave for those who need to care for an unwell loved one. Sandberg also announced a new three-day “paid family sick time” policy that covers different short-term illness scenarios, like a child being home sick. These convenient policies are in addition to the 21 annual days of paid time off and unlimited sick time that Facebook offers, making the company a role model for others to follow. “Companies that stand by the people who work for them do the right thing and the smart thing - it helps them serve their mission, live their values, and improve their bottom line by increasing the loyalty and performance of their workforce,” wrote Sandberg.
In the last year, additional companies like Twitter, Cisco, and others have updated their PTO policies as well, offering unlimited vacation days to employees which could be used to grieve or care for a loved one. And just this past week, MasterCard followed by extending its bereavement policy of 15 days to 20 days for employees who lose a child, spouse, or domestic partner. The company also said it would support those employees with resources, including face-to-face counseling, and 18 months of medical insurance coverage. With the progress made in the last year, one can anticipate more companies to catch on in the future.
According to The Grief Index’s survey of 35,000 grieving employees, U.S. businesses lose more than $37.6 billion annually due to mistakes, absence, and low productivity that all result from grief. If employers are looking for active and engaged workers, it’s not going to be possible with a recent tragedy in their life. With companies changing their policies, though, things are looking up for employees everywhere. Like Russell Friedman, executive director of the Grief Recover Institute, told NBC News, “You can’t park your grief at the office door and then pick it up at five… When your heart is broken, your head doesn’t work right.”
BY KIMBERLY ROSE
With the current political climate today, the LGBTQ community continues to face discrimination in public spaces – much like the debate on where trans people should use the bathroom. We’re trying to make progress, but in the U.S. and the current administration, it’s particularly hard when so many communities feel vulnerable. Canada, though, is taking an extra step in extending rights and protections for transgender people in particular.
“I am proud to announce that tomorrow, on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, we will be tabling a bill in the House of Commons to ensure the full protection of transgender people,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at an award ceremony honoring his efforts to fight both homophobia and transphobia, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
Not many details were released regarding the new law, but Bill C-16 will reportedly update Canada’s Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression. It will also change the criminal code to extend protection against hate speech – hopefully setting an international precedent for the protection of trans persons. The Canadian Senate passed the bill by a 67-11 vote and Randy Boissonnault, a member of Canada’s Parliament and special advisor to Trudeau on LGBTQ issues, referred to the bill as “a critical extension of human rights.” It is expected that C-16 will become a law after it passes royal assent – and then transgender Canadian persons will be protected at provincial and federal levels in the country.
In terms of the impact the law will have, law professor Kyle Kirkup, of the University of Ottawa, called the legislation “practical” and “symbolic.” While it can create hiccups or necessary changes in institutions like the criminal justice system and its policies regarding transgender inmates, it will, more importantly, recognize the difficulties that transgender persons experience on the daily from discrimination, violence, and harassment. And the Canadian government is doing what it can to change that.
The U.S. is still facing the cultural battle, but Canada can serve as a role model to how all communities should be respected and protected. After all, everyone is deserving of living a truthful and loving life.