An anti-street harassment ad on Philadelphia public transit. A new report shows that about 20 percent of street harassment aimed at women happens on public transit. Photo and ad campaign by Hollaback Philly.
As a society, we tend to brush off street harassment. Individually, when a guy hollers “nice ass!” I often roll my eyes and move on. Culturally, it feels like the institutional approach to street harassment is about the same—street harassment is so commonplace that it has rarely been the topic of systematic study. Today, organization Stop Street Harassment took a big step in raising awareness about the realities of street harassment by releasing a major study of the nature and impact of street harassment in the United States.
• Lupita Nyong has optioned the rights to Americanah, one of the 10 Best Books of the year last year, according to the New York Times Book Review. The love story centers on a young man and woman from Nigeria “who face difficult choices and challenges in the countries they come to call home.” We’re looking forward to seeing how the project develops. [The Root]
• The Chicago city council unanimously passed an ordinance strengthening the Illinois law that bans videotaping in public to target “upskirting” women. Creeps can look forward to a $500 dollar fine in addition to state-mandated jail time. [Chicago Tribune]
• Foster Farms refuses to recall chicken despite a more than year-long salmonella outbreak tied to the poultry giant. The culprit is a particularly nasty strain of bacteria that has hospitalized triple the proportion of those infected in other, similar outbreaks. [NBC News]
• Renowned poet and author Maya Angelou died today at age 86. Here are two moving ways to remember her work this morning: a video of her reading "On the Pulse of Morning" at the swearing-in of President Bill Clinton and a powerful nterview in 2008 where she said, "I think every year has been challenging. Every day challenges. Some of the challenges were more public than others." [New York Times, Colorlines]
• Misogyny kills: I'm sure we are all shaken by the death of six people in Santa Barbara, California, on Friday after a 22-year-old named Elliot Rodger went on a shooting spree. He spent time on men's rights activist websites and posted a YouTube video the day before the shooting saying that he would "slaughter every single spoiled, stuck-up, blond slut I see." As Jessica Valenti writes in the Guardian: "The truth is that there is no such thing as a lone misogynist—they are created by our culture, and by communities that tells them that their hatred is both commonplace and justified." [Belle Jar, Guardian]
• A survivor of a Boko Haram attack in 2011 told her story to the US Congress and media this week. Deborah Peter (above), a 15 year-old girl from Nigeria held a paper sign reading “#BringBackMySisters” for the press to see as she recounted the horrific story of violence and her escape. [Time]
• While it’s too soon to determine the long-term effects of Colorado’s January weed legalization, there are notable short-term effects: the increased availability of edibles to children, a number of hash-oil related house fires, and a nearly $100 million jump in projected tax revenue. [Slate]