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On Our Radar: Feminist News Roundup

Here's all the news that's on my radar today:

• Chelsea Manning was granted approval by a judge this week to legally change her name. In an open letter about her experience Manning said, “Hopefully today's name change, while so meaningful to me personally, can also raise awareness of the fact that we trans* people exist everywhere in America today, and that we must jump through hurdles every day just for being who we are. [Huffington Post]

• This week Mississippi joined Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Oklahoma and Texas in passing 20 week abortion bans. Governor Phil Bryant said about the ban, which takes effect in July, “Today is an important day for protecting the unborn and the health and safety of women in Mississippi." Ugh. [Reuters]

• At Columbia University this week, 23 students filed a complaint about alleged mishandling of sexual assaults. The student group points to numerous violations ncluding "administrators discouraging survivors from formally reporting, LGBTQ students facing discrimination in counseling, serial offenders remaining on campus, inadequate disciplinary sanctions, and discrimination against survivors." [Jezebel]

• In yet another disturbing story about sexual assault on college campuses, Brown University is letting a student found responsible for sexual assault back on campus after a one-semester suspension. The assault victim spoke out against the school saying, “I did not do anything wrong, and yet I’m the one who’s going to take time off or transfer.” School officials say the punishment was “reasonably consistent with precedent in similar cases.” [Salon]

• In more collegiate news, a group of graduate student workers in the University of California system have made a huge advance in their fight for gender neutral restrooms and lactation stations on campus. The group has reached a tentative contract agreement that calls access to such facilities a “right.” If the contract is completed it would mean that students, faculty members, and employees on all UC campuses would be required access to these facilities. [Slate]

• Writers Leslie Jamison and Roxane Gay have deemed this a “new golden age of female essayists” in an interview with Salon. [Salon]

• Gabi Ury, a 16-year-old from Colorado, has been training for years to break the world record for holding a plank position. This week she succeeded and now holds the Guinness World Record for longest plank held by a female, 80 minutes. Congrats on reaching your goal Gabi! [Refinery 29]

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