The XX Factor
What Women Really Think

May 11 2017 2:17 PM

A Black Lives Matter Coalition Is Posting Bail for Dozens of "Black Mamas" This Mother’s Day

Hundreds of thousands of people sit in jail right now because they cannot afford to post bail. They have not been convicted of a crime. If they had money, they would be allowed to walk free while they awaited their day in court. Because they are poor, however, they remain behind bars for months or even years, unable to work, to walk down the street, or to participate in the daily rhythms of family life. Nationally, 62 percent of the people in jail are there because they cannot afford bail.

This Mother’s Day, at least 30 women will be freed thanks to the Black Lives Matter movement. A coalition of 25 black-led organizations has raised more than $250,000 to pay for the release of “black mamas” being held while they await trial—to “buy each others’ freedom,” Atlanta organizer Mary Hooks tells the Nation. Mama’s Bail Out Day, as organizers have named the effort, will free women from more than a dozen jails in places including Houston, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles. Many of them are being held for minor offenses like loitering or possessing small amounts of drugs.

May 10 2017 6:02 PM

With Her Disarming Familiarity, Sarah Huckabee Sanders Reminds Us Of Lots of People We Already Know

Something is up with Sean Spicer this week. The Washington Post reported early Wednesday morning that he hid himself in White House shrubbery to avoid the press gaggle that formed after Donald Trump fired FBI director James Comey on Tuesday night. He refused to speak until reporters turned their lights off, then addressed them in “near darkness.”

Politico says Spicer is doing his Navy Reserve duty this week, but then, why the hiding in the bushes? Perhaps the White House press secretary is keeping his face out of the press to hide a particularly nasty microdermabrasion flush, or maybe the full moon that’s rising on Wednesday night spurred some kind of monthly transformation Spicer didn’t want anyone to see. Whatever it is, we wish him a speedy recovery, and we must express our gratitude for giving us the opportunity to spend some more time with his deputy! Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been filling in for Spicer on one of the White House communications corps’ more demanding days, giving the members of the press a chance to test the resolve of their substitute teacher.

May 10 2017 5:08 PM

Serious Journalistic Investigation of Johnny Depp Neglects to Mention Those Pesky Abuse Allegations

Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Legend of the Immortal Disney Franchise swashbuckles into theaters on May 26, and the Hollywood Reporter is out with a timely investigation of star Johnny Depp’s disastrous financial life. The piece is bursting with the kind of succulent details that make for top-shelf celebrity schadenfreude. A fancy jewelry store once plied him with champagne and sold him a diamond cuff for $400,000! At one point Depp was spending $30,000 a month on wine! When his managers warned him in 2008 that it wasn’t a good time to buy more property, he wrote back “WE MUST BUY THIS HOUSE!!!” As of 2012, the actor was spending $2 million a month.

May 10 2017 2:22 PM

Most U.S. Women Live in States With Abortion Laws That Conflict With Science and Facts

At a celebratory Rose Garden gathering after House Republicans passed the American Health Care Act last week, Majority Whip Steve Scalise lauded one of bill’s most important goals: “making sure that patients and doctors are the ones that make their own health care decisions.” Scalise may be sad to learn that a slight majority of U.S. residents have the pre-existing condition of womanhood, and the majority of those women-people live in states where abortion restrictions divorced from medical reality limit the decisions they and their doctors can make.

May 9 2017 5:59 PM

Four Lesbian Couples Are Suing Tennessee Over a Law That Could Restrict Their Parental Rights

Four lesbian couples in Tennessee are suing the state over a law they say could violate their parental rights. All four couples are expecting children later this year and, according to the lawsuit, a new law restricting all words in the state’s legal code to their “natural and ordinary” meanings may prevent the non-pregnant women from becoming legal parents to their future children.

May 9 2017 5:02 PM

The 13 Men in the Senate Health Care Reform Group Care About Looking Like They Care About Women

Quit your bellyaching, women—Senate Republican leaders have heard your complaints that their working group on health care reform included 13 men and no women and responded that, actually, “Everybody’s at the table.” “Nobody's being excluded based on gender,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told NBC News on Tuesday. Was everyone at the same table, though? Maybe some people thought the meeting was at one table and some other people thought it was at another table, classic kitchen vs. dining room confusion? What is a group, really, and what is membership, anyway? Because despite reports that a female senator may have been invited to join the group in an as-yet-unclear capacity and that everyone is welcome, it remains that all 13 members named to the Senate’s health care working group are male.

May 9 2017 3:12 PM

The Right Should Blame Trump’s Anti-Vaxxer Pals, Not Islam, for a Measles Outbreak in Minnesota

In the midst of the second measles outbreak in the state in six years, Somali immigrants in Minnesota have found themselves caught between a manipulative anti-vaxxer movement and rising anti-immigrant activism in right-wing politics. More than 40 cases of the measles have been reported in the state, home to the largest Somali population in the U.S., in the past month. Unvaccinated Somali-American children make up the vast majority of those afflicted so far.

May 8 2017 6:16 PM

Tiffany Trump, Future Law Student, Should Take These Classes to Influence Her Father

As her father likes to say, “See you in court!” Youngest Trump daughter Tiffany Trump is going to law school at Georgetown University in the fall, Us Weekly reports. (Add another tally mark to the chalkboard where you’re keeping tabs on the burgeoning Us Weekly–Trump family alliance.) The 23-year-old will move to Washington, D.C., following much of the rest of her family’s relocation to the capitol post–Inauguration Day.

May 8 2017 6:05 PM

If Gender-Neutral Acting Awards Become a Thing, Will Women Still Win?

When Emma Watson accepted her MTV award for Best Actor in a Movie on Sunday, she applauded the network for its recent shift to gender-neutral award categories. “To me, it indicates that acting is about the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and that doesn’t need to be separated into two different categories” Watson said. MTV President Chris McCarthy has called those gender-based categories “antiquated” and argued that young people “don’t see those lines in the way that generations in the past have.”

May 8 2017 2:38 PM

Jury Awards Former University of Iowa Employee $1.43 Million in Gender Discrimination Suit

A former University of Iowa employee who sued over claims of gender and sexual-orientation discrimination won $1.43 million in damages last week for emotional distress and lost wages. Jane Meyer, 57, was the second highest-ranking official in the university’s athletics department until she was reassigned and eventually fired after protesting to her boss about what she saw as unequal treatment in the department.