Hollywood Women Will Fight Harassment with New Initiative

Shonda Rhimes and Reese Witherspoon (New York Post)

Shonda Rhimes and Reese Witherspoon (New York Post)

Happy New Year! If you haven’t heard, time’s up on sexual harassment. Time’s Up is also the name of a new initiative launched by 300+ Hollywood women to combat sexual harassment on the job.

The women of Time’s Up work both in front of and behind the camera, and count actresses Reese Witherspoon and Rashida Jones and “Scandal” showrunner Shonda Rhimes as supporters.

The initiative takes a many-armed approach, including establishing a defense fund to support women who work in agriculture and service jobs, encouraging penalizing companies whose cultures persist in harassment, and pressuring Hollywood to reach gender parity. Of these three points, the latter is already making headway.

The most visible call to action so far has been encouraging women attending the upcoming Golden Globe Awards to wear black to show solidarity with the victims. (The Golden Globes will take place on January 7, 2018.)

The women behind Time’s Up published an open letter in The New York Times announcing the initiative, signed by its supporters. The initiative’s backers also took out full page ads in The New York Times and Spanish-language newspaper La Opinion.

It is absolutely wonderful to see so many women working together to combat sexual harassment, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

 

 

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First Female President of South Korea Impeached

South Korean President Park Guen-hye (NovoRossia)

South Korean President Park Guen-hye (NovoRossia)

South Korean President Park Guen-hye made history in 2012 by becoming the first woman elected to the country’s highest office. Now, she’s made history for a more ignominious reason: Park is the first female president of South Korea to be impeached.

Park is battling various charges of corruption. The South Korean National Assembly voted to impeach her 234 to 56. The vote now will move to the Constitutional Court, which could take up to six months.

And if the Constitutional Court is in favor?

Park will be formally removed from office if six of the court’s nine justices support her impeachment, and the country would then hold a presidential election within 60 days.

According to a recent poll from Gallup Korea, Park’s current approval rating sits at a measly 5%. Incredibly, this is an improvement from her 4% approval rating. Poll respondents supported her impeachment at a rate of 81%.

 

 

How Many People Check Their Phones During Sex?

Woman texting in bed (Khurki)

Woman texting in bed (Khurki)

I don’t know about you, but I was taught not to be rude. In any situation (if I can help it). And that respect extends to my bedroom, and whatever partner is lucky enough to occupy it with me for that time.

This includes minimizing distractions so I can concentrate on getting it on and getting off. And in our super-connected state, what could be more distracting than your phone? Turns out others were also curious about that, and now there are, not one, but two, studies that exist on the topic.

A 2013 study done in England surveyed 1.7K+ men and women. The results found that 62% of women and 48% of men had interrupted sex to play with their phone. It broke down into specifics: Answering a call was 34% of the time, answering a text was 24%, and answering an email comprised 22%. Weirdly, the results didn’t break down the specifics by gender.

Oh yeah, and 34% of respondents claimed to be OK with the fact that their partner had turned their attention to their phone during the act. Sure, sounds legit. (I’d be mad as hell, but that’s just me.)

Also, we don’t know the ages of the respondents. I’d be tempted to speculate that the people who can’t leave their phones alone during sex would be of the millennial cohort (since my generation’s phones are practically appendages), but of course I can’t be certain.

But wait, there’s more!

Earlier this year, researchers at the University of Virginia presented findings focused on how our phones are distracting us from everything. Including, yes, sex.

(Side note: the scientists presented said research at the aptly-named Association for Computing Machinery’s Human-Computer Interaction conference. Who knew one existed?!)

Anyway, here’s an interesting discrepancy: only 10% of people admitted picking up their phones during sex. That’s a large gap between the 48-62% that the English study claimed. I don’t know whether this boils down to different social/sexual/technological mores across the pond, but that’s a huge gap in self-reporting.

Either way, it doesn’t matter. Come on, using your phone during sex is just inexcusable. Give your partner your full attention!

If you’re one of those people, do your current/future partners a favor and put that shit on airplane mode when you’re getting down.

Link Between Tonsils and Appendix and Fertility Discovered

Tonsils (Daily Mail UK)

Today in “Things You (Probably) Wouldn’t Guess:” Scientists have discovered that the presence of tonsils or an appendix affects fertility.

A study conducted by University of Dundee and University College London found that if woman had either organ removed, they were more likely to both to become pregnant, but also to get pregnant earlier in life. (If you remember from middle school math class, this is what’s called an inverse relationship.) The study followed 530K+ women in the UK over a 15-year period. Over 54K women had their appendix removed, 112K+ women had their tonsils removed, and 10K+ women had both appendices and tonsils removed.

Women who’d had their appendix removed got pregnant at a 34% higher rate than women who still had their appendix. Women who’d had their tonsils removed got pregnant at a 49% (!) higher rate than women who still had their tonsils. And women who’d had both procedures got pregnant at a 43% higher rate than women who had not undergone both procedures.

It’s not clear yet why these things are linked together. But it flies in the face of long-time conventional medical wisdom, which had previously declared that removing a woman’s appendix affected her future fertility due to scarring around her fallopian tubes (a crucial passage for her eggs).

 

 

Trends: Interracial Couples on Broadcast TV, 2010-2015, Part 1

Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) in 'Scandal' (EW.com)

Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) in ‘Scandal’ (EW.com)

Fall TV is back! Ready for your favorite shows to return? Some of the cable companies have already begun to premiere new seasons of their fall shows, and now it’s time for the Big Four networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox) to follow suit.

The primetime premieres of shows new and old start this week, and it’s always interesting to see how much diversity makes it onto our screens. I was curious to see if the incidence of interracial couples on the Big Four networks had risen over the past five years (since trends are a bit slower to infiltrate there). I looked at incoming shows (i.e. those that started with pilots), and didn’t count returning ones. I was mainly looking for romantic couples, but noted platonic ones and love interests as well.

Part 1 explores the findings, and Part 2 (which will be published tomorrow) will show change-over-time trends with tables and graphs.

And now to the findings:

2010-2011:

Brad (Damon Wayans Jr.) and Jane (Eliza Coupe) in 'Happy Endings' (Oh No They Didn't)

Brad (Damon Wayans Jr.) and Jane (Eliza Coupe) in ‘Happy Endings’ (Oh No They Didn’t)

ABC: 3 shows/4 couples

  • Happy Endings: African-American man Brad Williams (Damon Wayans Jr.) is married to white woman Jane Kerkovich-Williams (Eliza Coupe).
  • My Generation: White guy Steven Foster (Michael Stahl-David) had a one-night-stand with Caroline Chung (Annie Son) in high school, which resulted in a child. Also, African-American Rolly Marks (Mehcad Brooks) is married to Dawn Barbuso (Kelli Garner), who’s white.
  • Off The Map: African-American man Dr. Otis Cole (Jason Winston George) has a relationship with Latina Zee Toledo Alvarez (Valeria Cruz).

CBS: 0 shows

For shame, CBS.

Fox: 1 show/0 couples

  • Breaking In: Melanie Garcia (Odette Annable) was the love interest to white guy Cameron Price (Bret Harrison).

NBC: 1 show/0 couples

  • Outsourced: The show implied a future between white Todd Dempsy (Ben Rappaport) and Indian woman Asha (Rebecca Hazlewood).

 

2011-2012:

President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) and Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) in 'Scandal' (New York Post)

President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) and Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) in ‘Scandal’ (New York Post)

ABC: 1 shows/1 couple

  • Scandal: Washington fixer Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) starts/continues (spoiler?) a relationship with President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn).

CBS: 1 show/1 couple

  • Rob: White guy (Rob Schneider) marries Maggie (Claudia Bassols), and gets to know her Mexican-American family. (Incidentally, Schneider isn’t completely white, but is of partial Filipino descent.)

Fox: 2 shows/1 couple

  • I Hate My Teenage Daughter: White woman Nikki Miller (Kate Finneran) raises her biracial daughter Mackenzie (Aisha Dee), with help from her ex-husband Gary (Chad L. Coleman).
  • Touch: Kiefer Sutherland and British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s characters’ relationship was strictly platonic.

NBC: 0 shows

This was the second season in a row that the network had no shows with interracial couples.

 

2012-2013:

Dr. Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) and Casey (Anders Holm) in 'The Mindy Project' (Fox)

Dr. Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) and Casey (Anders Holm) in ‘The Mindy Project’ (Fox)

ABC: 2 shows/4 couples

  • Mistresses: White woman Savi (Alyssa Milano) sleeps with her African-American coworker Dominic (Jason George). Asian-American Dr. Karen Kim (Yunjin Kim) sleeps with her patient, Thomas Grey (John Schneider). Latina single mom April (Rochelle Aytes) dates white man Richard (Cameron Bender).
  • The Neighbors: African-American woman Jackie Joyner-Kersee (Toks Olagundoye) is in a couple with white man/fellow alien Larry Bird (Simon Templeman).

CBS: 2 shows/2 couples

  • Elementary: Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) is white, and Dr. Joan Watson is Asian (Lucy Liu).
  • Golden Boy: Latino detective Christian Arroyo (Kevin Alejandro) has an affair with white fellow detective Deb McKenzie (Bonnie Somerville)

Fox: 1 show/9 couples

  • The Mindy Project: Indian OB-GYN Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) dates all the white guys: Dennis (Ed Helms), Matt (Seth Meyers), Josh (Tommy Dewey), Brendan (Mark Duplass), Jamie (B.J. Novak), Sam (Seth Rogen), Adam (Josh Meyers), and Casey (Anders Holm). She also flirts heavily with co-worker Danny (Chris Messina).

NBC: 1 show/0 couples

  • Do No Harm: Dr. Lena Solis (Alana de la Garza) was the love interest of Dr. Jason Cole (Steven Pasquale).

 

2013-2014:

Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) and Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) in 'Sleepy Hollow' (The Chiefly)

Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) and Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) in ‘Sleepy Hollow’ (The Chiefly)

ABC: 0 shows/0 couples

A rare no-show for interracial couples this season from ABC.

CBS: 1 show/1 couple

  • Extant: Astronaut Molly Woods (Halle Berry) is married to Dr. John Woods (Goran Visnjic).

Fox: 3 shows/3 couples

  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) crushes on his Cuban-American partner Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero).
  • Gang Related: Vee Dotsen (Inbar Levi) and Tae Kim (Sung Kang) are a couple.
  • Sleepy Hollow: Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) and Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) work together to protect their town.

NBC: 1 show/1 couple

  • Welcome to the Family: A white girl (Ella Rae Peck) and her Latino boyfriend (Joey Haro) get pregnant right out of high school.

 

2014-2015:

Rebecca Sutter (Katie Findlay) and Wes Gibbins (Alfred Enoch) in 'How to Get Away with Murder' (World News)

Rebecca Sutter (Katie Findlay) and Wes Gibbins (Alfred Enoch) in ‘How to Get Away with Murder’ (World News)

ABC: 4 shows/7 couples

  • Black-ish: African-American advertising executive Andre Johnson (Anthony Anderson) is married to Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross), a mixed-race surgeon.
  • Cristela: A Latina attorney (Cristela Alonzo) spars with her white co-worker (Andrew Leeds).
  • How to Get Away with Murder: Too many to count! Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) is married to Sam Keating (Tom Verica). Law student Connor Walsh dates Oliver Ricamora (Jack Falahee). Law student Laurel Castillo (Karla Souza) dates Kan (Arjun Gupta). And main character/audience-surrogate Wes Gibbins (Alfred Enoch) sleeps with Rebecca Sutter (Katie Findlay).
  • Selfie: Marketing guru Henry Higgs (John Cho) tries to reform Eliza Dooley (Karen Gillan).

CBS: 0 shows/0 couples

No interracial couples from this network this year.

Fox: 0 shows/0 couples

Same as CBS.

NBC: 1 show/1 couple

  • The Slap: Hector Apostolou (Peter Sarsgaard) is in an interracial marriage with Aisha (Thandie Newton).

 

Looks like a lot, right? Check back tomorrow for Part 2 where I’ll look at the actual numbers!

Why Is the Number of Sexual Assaults Rising in New York City?

New York City skyline (The Huffington Post)

New York City skyline (The Huffington Post)

Certain types of violence are on the rise in the city that never sleeps. In addition to shooting and homicides increasing year-over-year, the number of rapes and sexual assaults has also increased.

But is it enough to panic over? Let’s look at the numbers. “The New York Times” reports:

From Jan. 1 to May 31, there were 540 rapes recorded in the city, an 8 percent increase over the same period last year, and more than 1,128 misdemeanor sex crimes, representing a rise of 18 percent.

But on the bright side, some types of sexual violence has declined within the city:

According to national data from the Centers for Disease Control in 2012, the rate of stranger rape as a percentage of all rape is 14 percent; in New York City this year, the rate is half that. Of the 540 reported rapes, 39 were committed by someone the victim did not know, according to the police.

But why are the overall numbers climbing? The phenomenon can be attributed to a simple economic principle: the complement effect. Numbers are climbing because more people are reporting them. And that’s a good thing! The more people that are aware of these crimes and can report them, the more accurate a picture we can get of just how rampant sexual assaults are.

I’m interested to see if this is, or will be, the case in other cities.