California Public Schools Will Now Require Teaching LGBT History

Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, 1987 (The Washington Post)

Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, 1987 (The Washington Post)

California has long been one of the most progressive states in the union, fearlessly blazing a trail where other states dare not tread.

OK, maybe I’m biased because I live here.

But California is about to do something (else) no other state has done: require teaching LGBT history in public schools.

Granted, this isn’t a complete shock. Last year, the state voted to pass a new curriculum for history and social studies where children will learn about LGBT history at various points during K-12 schooling. Topics will range from learning about diverse families in elementary school to historical nuts-and-bolts in high school.

(Side note: A public forum was held in 2015 regarding the new curriculum. While there were disagreements over how some religious groups were portrayed, “no one protested the inclusion of the history of LGBT rights.” Progress!)

This measure comes after the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful Act (FAIR) Education Act was passed in 2012. This act bolstered the inclusion of minority groups (including the LGBT community) in public education on history. The deadline to include this new information in textbooks was this year.

With California leading the way, I hope other states will follow suit in teaching inclusive history to their students.

 

Viola Davis Makes Record with Oscar Win

Viola Davis Oscar win, 2017 (TV Insider)

Viola Davis Oscar win, 2017 (TV Insider)

Viola Davis (a.k.a QUEEN VIOLA) won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in “Fences.” (She also gave an excellent acceptance speech.) This wasn’t remotely a surprise, as she was CLEANING UP during awards season. This win has now ushered Davis into an upper echelon of artists that many people don’t achieve.

When she was nominated for the award, Davis started making history right out of the gate.   She became the first Black actor or actress to receive three Oscar nominations. (Her two previous nominations were for “Doubt” in 2008, and “The Help” in 2011.) This year’s Best Supporting Actress nominations was the first time three Black women were nominated, and the second time three non-white women were nominated.

With her win, Davis has hit other records. She’s now the 23rd person to win what’s called the triple crown of acting: a Tony, an Emmy, and a “competitive” (a.k.a. non-honorary) Oscar. Davis is also the first Black actor to achieve this feat, winning Tony for “King Hedley II” in 2001, and “Fences” in 2010, and an Emmy for “How to Get Away with Murder” in 2015.

This club is a rare one indeed. Davis is the first actress of her generation to achieve this honor. She even beat perennial-nominee-for-everything Meryl Streep to the punch.

Davis also has three out of the four awards required for an EGOT “grand slam:” Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony (though one could argue that Davis herself brings the G). The Grammys don’t honor acting, so the EGOT is more about versatility in the entertainment industry.

Trump Bans Funding for International Organizations that “Promote” Abortion

Trump signs international abortion ban (Lifesite)

Trump signs international abortion ban (Lifesite)

Well, that was quick.

On his third day in office, Trump showed his hand on female reproductive rights (not like we didnt already know…) He moved to block U.S. aid for organizations that “promote” abortion. In this case, “promoting” abortion means presenting it as a viable option and/or providing abortion counseling.

Similar rules have been in place since 1984, when President Ronald Reagan instituted the first rule known as the Mexico City policy. (The policy was named for the location in which Reagan announced it.) Depending on which party is in office, the bill has been repealed (by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama) and reinstated (by George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush).

Despite the fact that the policy has been around for over 30 years, it’s unclear whether it’s actually working:

Health experts say the policy has not led to a decline in abortions in the affected countries. Some research suggests that it has had the opposite effect: increasing abortion rates by forcing health clinics to close or to restrict contraceptive supplies because of lack of funding. Others say the restriction only heightens the risk of illegal and often unsafe abortions.

A study completed by the Stanford University School of Medicine in 2011 found that the Mexico City policy was “linked to increases in abortion rates in sub-Saharan African countries.” But the study also found that it was difficult to link a country’s abortion rates back to the policy.

 

Bus Permits for the Women’s March Outnumber Bus Permits for the Inauguration by a 1:6 Ratio

Women's Strike For Peace And Equality March, 1970 (Time)

Women’s Strike for Peace-And Equality, Women’s Strike for Equality, Fifth Avenue, New York, New York, August 26, 1970. (Photo by Eugene Gordon/The New York Historical Society/Getty Images)Women’s Strike For Peace And Equality March, 1970 (Time)

Friday, January 20th is Inauguration Day for the president-elect. The Women’s March takes place the next day. (Who’s going? I am!) D.C. can already tell the event is sure to be huge, judging by the number of bus permits secured. And the March might overshadow the previous day’s activities.

According to D.C. Council member Charles Allen, 1,200 buses have secured parking permits for the day of the March in RFK Stadium. (RFK Stadium has a capacity of 1,300 buses.) By contrast, just 200 buses have registered for parking permits for Inauguration Day. For every bus that has registered for the inauguration, six buses have registered for the March.

For President Barack Obama’s second inauguration in 2009, 3K buses registered for permits. Bus registrations for the current president-elect comprised 6.67% of that total.

Attendees for the March are expected to number as many as 200K.

Hopefully, this detail begins getting the message to the president-elect loud and clear that we will not be ignored.

 

 

Nikki Haley is the First Woman and Minority Named to the Trump Administration

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (Politico)

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (Politico)

President-elect Donald Trump (I threw up a little just now writing that) has named his pick for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. He’s selected Republican Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley. Haley is the first woman Trump has selected for his administration.

Haley’s also the first minority Trump has selected: She’s of Indian descent, and her parents are Sikh.

Haley has served two terms as governor of South Carolina, and is known for advocating removing the Confederate flag from South Carolina’s State Capitol grounds.

She is the first woman governor of South Carolina, as well as the first minority governor of the state.

According to CNN, “Haley will keep serving as governor until the Senate confirms her nomination.”

The Newest CoverGirl Wears a Hijab

CoverGirl Nura Afia (Today)

CoverGirl Nura Afia (Today)

CoverGirl is making strides in inclusivity in their marketing outreach this year. Earlier, the brand announced beauty blogger James Charles as its first male spokesmodel. Now, CoverGirl has tapped beauty vlogger Nura Afia. Afia wears a hijab as part of her Muslim faith.

The 24-year-old will be the first spokesmodel to wear a hijab. Afia will appear in a commercial, and will serve as an ambassador for the So Lashy! Blast Pro Mascara. She hopes that her wearing hijab will normalize Muslims for the rest of America.

Afia began posting makeup tutorials on YouTube in 2011. She now has 215K subscribers and 13M video views. But this isn’t Afia’s first major brand partnership: she’s previously partnered with Revlon.

Beauty that’s inclusive to Muslims is massive, and poised to grow even bigger. According to Ogilvy Noor, by way of The New York Times:

The Muslim personal cosmetics and care market is now worth more than $54 billion, a figure that is expected to reach $80 billion by 2020.

Men Hostile Towards Women More Likely to Support Trump

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (US Weekly)

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (US Weekly)

If you know any men who come off as hostile towards women (and let’s be honest, we’ve all ran across more than one) they’re more likely to support Trump. It’s science!

Three researchers at The Washington Post surveyed 700 U.S. citizens this past June. (Keep in mind that it was before Trump’s hot-mic revelations that he’s sexually assaulted women in his past.) The goal was to see how ideas about gender, specifically women, affected a potential voter’s ability to support Trump. The researchers tested for this by giving respondents surveys with statements about women and feminism, and then asked who said respondent was supporting in the presidential election.

The results are interesting:

We found that sexism was strongly and significantly correlated with support for Trump, even after accounting for party identification, ideology, authoritarianism and ethnocentrism. In fact, the impact of sexism was equivalent to the impact of ethnocentrism and much larger than the impact of authoritarianism.

To put this plainly: “Hostile sexism was nearly as good at predicting support for Trump as party identification was.”

No wonder all the woke baes are all #ImWithHer.