Statue of J. Marion Sims, Father of Modern Gynecology, Removed from Central Park

J. Marion Sims Statue in Central Park (Curbed NY)

J. Marion Sims Statue in Central Park (Curbed NY)

Dr. J. Marion Sims is considered the father of modern gynecology. But this honor comes at a heavy price: Sims carried out his experiments on African-American slave women. It cannot be overstated that these experiments were performed without consent of the patients.

From 1845 to 1849, Sims practiced his methods on 12 slave women who suffered from vaginal issues. In his records, three women reoccurred: Anarcha, Betsy and Lucy #SayTheirNames. Though we don’t know exactly how many operations he performed (and subsequently botched), Sims operated on Anarcha 13 times before successfully repairing her fistula.

Obviously, this is an extremely important and painful part of history, and it should never be repeated. On Tuesday, after 84 years, Central Park removed the statue of Sims. The statue will later be set up in Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery.

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Grindr Allowed Third-Party Companies to See Users’ HIV Status

Grindr Logo (TechCrunch)

Grindr Logo (TechCrunch)

Yesterday, “BuzzFeed” broke the news that Grindr, the dating app aimed at gay men, had been selling users’ data to two third-party companies. Among the data sold were users’ HIV status.

Grindr admitted that it sold data to Apptimize and Localytics. (No word on how these companies were using the data.) Grindr users can provide their HIV status and date of their last HIV test in their profile on the app. The two third-party companies would’ve had easily identifiable information because the HIV status data was sent along with “users’ GPS data, phone ID and email.”

Norwegian research nonprofit company SINTEF was the first entity to find the problem.  Though Grinder said that the information sent was encrypted (simply put, made into a code that’s not easily broken), the company also revealed that the data provided from Grindr could be further hacked.

In recent months, Grindr has made more strides related to HIV. The app nows offers ad-targeting to HIV-testing websites, and users can sign up for HIV-test reminders.

Though Grindr announced plans later yesterday to discontinue sharing HIV data with the third-party companies, the damage has already been done. It will be interesting to see if this data breach will affect the app’s number of users in the near future.

Grindr reports 3.6M+ “daily active users” worldwide.

Trends: Hollywood Adopts Inclusion Riders

Michael B. Jordan (Mashable)

Michael B. Jordan (Mashable)

Many people only learned of the term “inclusion rider” when actress Frances McDormand mentioned it during her acceptance speech for the Best Actress Oscar at this year’s Oscars ceremony. Curiosity about the term was so high that Merriam-Webster later reported via Twitter that “inclusion” was the dictionary’s most-searched term during the Oscars ceremony. (“Rider” came in fourth.)

(For those who haven’t yet heard, an inclusion rider is a clause in an actor’s contact that states that the hiring for positions on set must be inclusive. This clause can also be called an equity rider. The rider was invented by Stacy L. Smith, professor at University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism along with lawyer Kalpana Kotagal. If you’re curious about what an inclusion rider looks like, here’s an inclusion rider template.)

Following the concept’s wave of exposure, others in Hollywood are making a commitment to inclusiveness in their projects official with the rider. “Black Panther” actor Michael B. Jordan announced that his production company Outlier Society Productions would adopt the inclusion rider for its projects. Jordan is the first major actor to adopt the rider following McDormand’s Oscars speech. Actors Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have also announced that their joint production company Pearl Street Films will also adopt an inclusion rider.

I certainly hope others take up this cause to the point that we no longer need inclusion riders.

Trends: Calling Out Pay Disparity

Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb of 'Today' (ET Online)

Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb of ‘Today’ (ET Online)

Earlier this week, word got out that Michelle Williams got paid a per diem for quickly reshooting scenes for “All the Money in the World” ahead of its release. That per diem amounted to $80 per diem, totaling less than $1,000. Her costar Mark Wahlberg, on the other hand, was paid a whopping $1.5M for the reshoots.

As USA Today notes, “that works out to Williams being paid less than one-tenth of 1% of her male co-star.” Isn’t that crazy?! In light of this revelation, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) is investigating the matter to see if any rules were violated during the making of the film.

This isn’t the first time men and women have faced a pay disparity. Far from it. But now, calling out pay disparity has become a public way to shame companies for making their employees feel undervalued.

This has been happening several times in news. After “Today” host Matt Lauer was fired, it was reported that Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie would take over as co-hosts. Kotb and Guthrie would each be paid $7M, with their combined salaries making $14M. Later was making $25M, making the difference between his salary and those of his two co-hosts $11M.

Last month, E! Entertainment host Catt Sadler left her job of 12 years, because she was paid half as much as her male co-host Jason Kennedy. Her departure did not go unnoticed: Actresses Debra Messing, Laura Dern, and Eva Longoria confronted this year’s Golden Globes red carpet pre-show hosts Guiliana Rancic and Ryan Seacrest over the issue.

Awareness of pay disparity has also spread around the world. Former BBC News editor Carrie Gracie quit her position earlier this month once she learned that she had been severely underpaid throughout her career.

The pay disparity problem has also crossed racial lines. “Hawaii Five-O” stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park each left the series last year due to pay disparity between themselves and their white costars. Though the two had been with the show since 2010, their respective raises were still 10-15% lower than those of their white costars.

It’s excellent that pay disparities are finally coming to light! Let’s hope they spur some lasting changes toward equality.

#ThrowbackThursday: Madame C.J. Walker, America’s First Female Millionaire

Madame C.J. Walker (Biography)

Madame C.J. Walker (Biography)

If you don’t know who Madame C.J. Walker is, get on that! The former Sarah Breedlove worked as a laundress and a singer before developing her own line of hair care products.  Walker eventually extended her product line into a beauty school and trained hairdressers in her products and specific methods. Through Walker’s entrepreneurship, she taught other black women how to run their own businesses and become financially independent.

By the time Madame C.J. Walker died at age 51, she’d become the first female millionaire, and a self-made one at that. Her net worth at the time of her death in 1919 was $600,000. Adjusted for inflation, that’s $8,757,479.29 in November 2017 money.

Google Trends: Time’s Up

Time's Up logo (Time's Up)

Time’s Up logo (Time’s Up)

On Jan. 1, 2018, 300+ powerful women working in Hollywood unleashed Time’s Up, a new initiative to combat sexual harassment in the workplace for all women. Awareness of the initiative debuted via an open letter penned by the Time’s Up founders, and published in The New York Times.

Within the past week-and-a-half, Time’s Up has received much attention, especially with the recent Golden Globes ceremony and the majority of female attendees showing up in black in solidarity for sexual harassment victims.

I was curious to see how much of a digital footprint the initiative has already made regarding search terms. So I looked at Google Trends.

I first used the search terms “times,” within the parameter of the past 30 days (Dec. 9, 2017-Jan. 9, 2018). Here’s the trend:

Google Trends: "timesup" search term, Dec. 9, 2017-Jan. 9, 2018 (Google Trends)

Google Trends: “timesup” search term, Dec. 9, 2017-Jan. 9, 2018 (Google Trends)

Check out that spike! And it’s all since Jan. 1, 2018!

I was also curious to see which regions were searching for “timesup” the most. And here’s what happened:

Google Trends: "timesup" search term interest by region, Dec. 9, 2017-Jan. 9, 2018 (Google Trends)

Google Trends: “timesup” search term interest by region, Dec. 9, 2017-Jan. 9, 2018 (Google Trends)

That was a surprise to me. I would’ve thought that there would’ve been enough data to show a regional breakout, but I was wrong.

This could be the result of how the search term is typed. So I decided to try another way: “times up.” Here was that trend:

Google Trends: "times up" search term, Dec. 9, 2017-Jan. 9, 2018 (Google Trends)

Google Trends: “times up” search term, Dec. 9, 2017-Jan. 9, 2018 (Google Trends)

This is a bit steadier, but it’s also probable that this search term did not directly and solely relate to the new initiative.

I then decided to try the hashtag version: “#timesup.” Here’s what that term’s trend looked like:

Google Trends: "#timesup" search term, Dec. 9, 2017-Jan. 8, 2017 (Google Trends)

Google Trends: “#timesup” search term, Dec. 9, 2017-Jan. 8, 2017 (Google Trends)

This one appears to be more directly related to the new initiative.

As Google Trends confirms, Time’s Up is already having an impact in terms of search. It’ll be interesting to see how the movement grows, and how search terms are subsequently affected.

 

 

 

Oprah Winfrey Is the First Black Woman to Receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award

Oprah Winfrey at the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards (Variety)

75th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS — Pictured: Oprah Winfrey, Winner, Cecil B. Demille Award at the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 — (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC)

We all know that Oprah is a supreme being, right? Is there anything she can’t do? Seemingly not, especially when it comes to her role throughout the decades in entertainment. And now she has the one of the highest honors.

Last night, Winfrey was awarded the Cecil DeMille Award. Named after the famed director, the award recognizes individuals in the entertainment industry who’ve, well, achieved a lot within their lifetime (obviously).

Winfrey is the African-American woman to receive the award. This award has been presented since 1952.

Oprah then gifted us all with an acceptance speech to end all acceptance speeches. She started out speaking on what the award personally meant to her (#representationmatters), tied in into history, and spoke on the fact that the tide is finally turning against sexual harassment, in every industry.

Her speech was so good that some are calling for her to run for president (though not everyone feels this way).

Congratulations to Oprah! Only one question: why didn’t she receive this award sooner?!?!?!