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Dove Real Beauty Commercial

Evolution of the Dove “Real Beauty” Campaign

Evolution of the Dove “Real Beauty” Campaign


The Emily Program Foundation

By Awazi, a Foundation volunteer The Dove “Real Beauty” Campaign launched in 2004, and started as a “global conversation” to find the definition of beauty and what it means to people who identify a…

Here's What Bothers Me About the New Dove Ad

Here's What Bothers Me About the New Dove Ad


Bitch Media

If you’re a human being with a social media account, you’ve seen the new Dove commercial already. ...

Education Department releases interim directions for Title IX compliance

by Andrew Kreighbaum @ Inside Higher Ed

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued guidance Friday granting colleges new discretion in how they comply with requirements under federal Title IX law to resolve and adjudicate allegations of sexual misconduct on campus. 

DeVos at the same time rescinded 2011 and 2014 guidelines issued by the Obama administration that survivor advocates said have been critical to pushing for new protections, including guarantees that victims of assault are not denied access to an education. The department's Office for Civil Rights will use the new guidance document to assess institutions' compliance with Title IX until a federal regulation dealing with campus sexual misconduct is finalized. 

The new guidance from the department grants colleges the ability to set their own evidentiary standard for misconduct findings, to pursue informal resolutions such as mediation and to establish an appeals process for disciplinary sanctions. It also includes language dealing with protections for accused students. 

"This interim guidance will help schools as they work to combat sexual misconduct and will treat all students fairly," DeVos said in a written statement. "Schools must continue to confront these horrific crimes and behaviors head-on. There will be no more sweeping them under the rug. But the process also must be fair and impartial, giving everyone more confidence in its outcomes."

The 2011 Obama administration guidance, frequently referred to as the Dear Colleague Letter, became a focus of ongoing controversy over federal Title IX policy in recent years, even though it drew largely on already existing guidelines and federal law. Congressional Republicans as well as groups that advocated for more "due process" protections for accused students argued that the administration overreached and had issued new mandates through the guidance process without appropriate formal input.

Advocates for survivors of sexual assault called the document -- and the decision to rescind the Obama guidance -- a betrayal of protections long fought for on campuses. And they said language issued by the department tips the scales toward protecting the rights of accused students, rather than victims, noting that sexual misconduct only in recent years became recognized as a major issue to be addressed in higher education.

Some higher-education organizations were receptive to the additional flexibility in resolving misconduct complaints, however. And longtime critics of the Dear Colleague Letter praised the secretary's focus on fairness for accused students.

Colleges and universities are unlikely to undertake major changes to existing policies after the release of the new federal guidelines, at least immediately. A binding regulation should be finalized sometime in the next year to 18 months. But advocates said the document released Friday rolls back clear protections and removes clarification colleges themselves had asked for to better fulfill their responsibilities under Title IX. 

"It sets up a system where schools can, with the consent of the department, stack the deck against us in a way that is just profoundly unfair," said Alyssa Peterson, a policy and advocacy coordinator with Know Your IX, a group that works to end sexual violence on campuses. 

Among the notable changes from previous guidelines: 

  • Colleges can apply either a preponderance of evidence standard or a clear and convincing evidence standard to reach findings about alleged misconduct. Previous guidance from the Obama administration stated clearly that institutions should use the preponderance standard, which sets a lower burden or proof for findings of misconduct.
  • The department says there is "no fixed time frame" under which a school must complete a Title IX investigation. The 2011 guidance stated that a "typical investigation" takes about 60 days after a complaint is made but said more complex cases could take longer. 
  • Campuses may opt to set an appeals process policy that allows appeals by both parties or by accused students only. 
  • Where colleges determine it is appropriate, the new guidelines say they may facilitate an "informal resolution" such as mediation.

Reactions to the New Guidance

The guidance released Friday said campus administrators have an obligation to respond when they know or should reasonably know of incidents of sexual misconduct, whether or not a student files a complaint. And it clarifies that existing voluntary resolution agreements reached between the Office for Civil Rights and institutions remain in effect.

"When the government sprang its 2011 letter on colleges and students without warning, it made it impossible for campuses to serve the needs of victims while also respecting the rights of the accused," Robert Shibley, executive director of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a group that's been highly critical of Obama administration policies on Title IX, said in a written statement. "With the end of this destructive policy, we finally have the opportunity to get it right.”

While the 2011 Dear Colleague Letter didn't go through a formal comment process, it was preceded by discussions and meetings with students, parents and administrators, including multiple visits to campuses. And DeVos initially was noncommittal about the letter when discussing it earlier this summer, even as she said current federal policy should be improved. In a one-day Title IX summit in July, that included a meeting with university presidents and campus lawyers, no higher-education institutions called for the department to rescind the letter. 

But in a speech earlier this month, DeVos blasted Obama administration policies and said the guidance had created a "failed system" that encouraged violations of students' rights. Proponents of the Obama-era guidance noted that it made clear that both parties involved in campus proceedings should get equal treatment.

Naomi Shatz, a lawyer with the firm Zalkind Duncan and Bernstein, who represents students in campus disciplinary proceedings, said the new instructions from the department do make meaningful clarifications spelling out that both parties are entitled to see and respond to investigative findings before a decision is reached on alleged misconduct. However, she said she didn't expect major changes to campus policies in response to the guidance document. 

"They’re not going to turn on a dime and revamp everything based on nonbinding recommendations, especially when they know there are going to be binding regulations coming out," Shatz said. 

Higher education groups made similar comments Friday, even as they said colleges would have serious work to do to determine the effects of the new guidance document. Terry Hartle, senior vice president for government and public affairs at the American Council on Education, said the new guidelines provide some additional flexibility to schools that were not there before. But the department's decision to rescind Obama administration guidance wouldn't affect the commitment of colleges to address sexual assault, he said.

“There are some things where institutions will have to take a careful look at their own practices relative to what the new guidance requires,” he said. “The default setting on this for most institutions will continue to be to do what we have been doing.”

Campus administrators handling Title IX investigations said they do not anticipate altering their processes following the new directive.

"It won’t change our response to sexual misconduct, we’re not going to change our current policy in any way and we're going to await formal guidance from the department," said Howard Kallem, Duke University's director for Title IX compliance. "We're focused on making sure Duke continues to have a fair and balanced and transparent process, and we think we do."

Crystal C. Coombes, the senior deputy Title IX coordinator at the University of South Florida, said she was pleasantly surprised by the department's action.

This changes little for her institution, Coombes said, and seems to harken back instead to Title IX guidance issued in 2001. She said some colleges were not abiding by the rules the 2001 guidance established, and that the 2011 Dear Colleague letter served as a "stronger fist" for some of those older requirements. Most institutions operate far beyond the minimum standards required by the 2011 guidance, she said. 

Coombes complimented the removal of the 60-day window for investigations, saying it was "very, very rare" that the entire process could be wrapped up in two months.

While the new information does allow colleges to choose between two standards of evidence, Coombes said the "preponderance" standard is preferred because "clear and convincing" comes too close to a judicial model that does not fit in a university setting.

Eric Butler, the Title IX coordinator at the University of Denver, agreed on the evidentiary standard, saying that "preponderance" should remain.

"This is not a criminal proceeding, even though people like to compare it to criminal proceedings," Butler said. "The government should have to hop through every possible hoop to send someone to jail. Part of this is controlling its community, a student has to agree to certain standard of conduct and sexual misconduct is one of them."

The department's communications seemed to emphasize only the rights of the accused, Butler said, highlighting that universities can pick whether to extend appeal rights to both parties -- or just the accused.

Proponents of the Obama guidelines said the department pulled back helpful advice to campuses without removing any real regulatory burden. And they see the potential that language in the document could lead to the denial of rights for victims.

"They are sowing confusion," said Alexandra Brodsky, a lawyer and fellow at the National Women's Law Center. "They are depriving schools of the assistance that administrators asked for."

Catherine Lhamon, the assistant secretary for civil rights at the department during the Obama administration, said the DeVos's action showed that the federal government is no longer looking out for students.

"The Trump administration's new guidance is dangerously silent on critical parts of Title IX. This backward step invites colleges to once again sweep sexual violence under the rug," she said in a written statement. "Students deserve better, the law demands better, our college and university community must continue to commit to better, and we as a country must demand more from the U.S. Department of Education."

-- Jeremy Bauer-Wolf contributed to this article.

Image Caption: 
Betsy DeVos
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Abortion Access in Missouri Is Getting Easier, Thanks to Planned Parenthood and Satanists

Abortion Access in Missouri Is Getting Easier, Thanks to Planned Parenthood and Satanists

by Christina Cauterucci @ The XX Factor

Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d write: Abortion access in Missouri is booming. Until this month, the state had only one abortion provider—a Planned Parenthood health center in St. Louis. On Monday, the organization announced that its clinic in Kansas City is now offering medication abortion. Its Columbia outpost will soon offer surgical abortions, too, and two others will likely follow.

For the past several years, Planned Parenthood and other women’s health clinics in Missouri have been targeted by restrictions that forced abortion providers to get admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and retrofit their facilities to meet surgical center standards. Those laws eventually became common goals of anti-abortion legislators around the country, but Missouri was ahead of the curve: In 1986, it was the first state to enact mandatory hospital admitting privileges. After the Supreme Court’s historic ruling that overturned similar restrictions in Texas, Planned Parenthood and two other reproductive rights groups took Missouri to federal court, arguing that it had four clinics in the state that could provide abortions—in addition to existing contraceptive care and health services—if the regulations were lifted.

A federal judge sided with Planned Parenthood in April and blocked officials from continuing to enforce the two anti-abortion provisions in Missouri. Now four clinics are working to get licensed for abortion care in the state: In addition to the Kansas City location, which stopped offering abortions five years ago, and the Columbia one—which stopped in the fall of 2015 when University of Missouri administrators voted to revoke its hospital admitting privileges—Planned Parenthood intends to offer abortion care at its Joplin and Springfield centers after their state inspections.

This rapid turnaround makes the state an illustration of the best-case scenario when courts reverse abortion restrictions. Other states aren’t so lucky. Often, such restrictions cause abortion providers to close completely, especially if the clinics aren’t affiliated with larger national organizations such as Planned Parenthood, which can provide some measure of stability as regulations shift. And when a clinic shuts down, there’s no guarantee that it’ll reopen once the restrictions that caused its closure fall away. A year after the Supreme Court’s Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt decision, only two of the nearly two-dozen abortion providers that shuttered due to the two provisions axed by the court had resumed abortion services.

Missouri’s recent stroke of good fortune in the reproductive rights realm may have to do with intervention from the fiery underworld. On Monday, the Satanic Temple argued in a Missouri court that the state’s abortion restrictions violate worshippers’ rights to free religious practice. The organization is challenging two Missouri laws: one that requires patients to look at unscientific anti-abortion propaganda and another that forces them to wait 72 hours between their initial consultations and a second appointments for their abortions. Satanic Temple members argue that their religion prizes rational, independent thought and that forcing Satanists to read anti-abortion pamphlets and “consider a religious proposition with which they do not agree” during the 72-hour waiting period constitutes a violation of their beliefs.

The Satanic challenge to the laws began in 2015, when a pregnant Satanist from rural Missouri identified as “Mary” tried to use a religious waiver to exempt herself from the state’s many requirements designed to prevent women from going forward with abortions. Mary said she had the $800 she needed to get the abortion, but to get to the clinic in St. Louis for two separate appointments, she needed to save up for gas money, a hotel, and child care. As a Satanist, Mary said, she believes her body is “inviolable”—thus, a mandatory waiting period with no medical justification that hampers her bodily autonomy inflicts a “substantial burden” on her “sincerely held religious beliefs,” as does the law that requires she be informed that “abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being.” The temple filed both state and federal lawsuits challenging the restrictions; a judge tossed out the federal case in 2016 because Mary was no longer pregnant.

Missouri argues that just because the laws align with the tenets of certain religions doesn’t mean the state is advocating on behalf of those religions. But don’t tell that to the Missouri state legislator who slaughtered a chicken on camera in June to make some kind of statement against legal abortion. “God gave us man dominion over life. He allows us to raise animals properly and care for them and then process them for food so we can sustain life. And that’s what I’m doing here with this chicken,” Rep. Mike Moon said before ripping out the animal’s heart. Three cheers for Missouri, the upside-down land where Christians perform the gruesome animal sacrifices and Satanists bring the religious freedom lawsuits.

The controversial Dove Real Beauty sketch artist ads

The controversial Dove Real Beauty sketch artist ads


Stephanie Early Green

I am nervous this morning as I write this post; my stomach’s all fluttery, and not really in a good way. After last week’s kerfuffle over sexism, HLS, and internet trolls, I am a little…

Is It Reasonable to Expect R. Kelly’s Former Musical Collaborators to Denounce Him?

Is It Reasonable to Expect R. Kelly’s Former Musical Collaborators to Denounce Him?

by Christina Cauterucci @ The XX Factor

R. Kelly’s alleged sexual misdeeds have been in the public record for decades. Half his lifetime ago, in 1994, he married his then-15-year-old protégée Aaliyah with a falsified legal document. At the turn of the millennium, thanks to the reporting of Jim DeRogatis and Abdon M. Pallasch at the Chicago Sun-Times, the world learned that Kelly had paid several settlements to the families of underage girls he’d allegedly raped. Soon after came the actual videotape of a man who looked like Kelly engaged in sexual activity with a girl whom witnesses identified as his then-14-year-old goddaughter. He was later acquitted of charges that he’d produced that piece of child pornography.

In the years that followed, Kelly had no trouble getting gigs. He made albums, toured arenas and stadia, and made fluffy appearances on late-night shows. After BuzzFeed published new allegations against the singer this week from parents and former lovers who say he sexually manipulates and essentially brainwashes teen girls with promises of music stardom, the site asked the publicists of 43 former Kelly collaborators if their clients would ever work with him again. After giving the stars’ representatives “at least 24 hours to respond,” very few had gotten back to the site. Those who did either said they had no comment or couldn’t reach their clients for comment.

As the Outline rightly pointed out in a post yesterday, it’s hard to draw any conclusions from this seemingly clever conceit. Celebrities rarely comment on anything, especially in a relatively short period of time on an extremely touchy issue that doesn’t directly concern them. They would have nothing to gain from staking out any definitive ground on R. Kelly, even if they fully intend to never work with him again. Some of the stars on BuzzFeed’s list hadn’t worked with Kelly in many years: Celine Dion made one song with him in 1998, for example, and Keri Hilson’s Kelly collaboration dropped in 2009.

Still, the vast majority of the artists on the list worked with Kelly after all-but-irrefutable evidence of his pattern of preying on young girls became public. They knew that dozens of people had accused him of child rape, and they worked with him anyway. Their participation in his career both elevated and sanitized his public profile, showing music fans that if Mary J. Blige, Nas, Chance the Rapper, and Pharrell (the Happy guy!) were cool with Kelly, we should probably be cool with him, too. Worse, every collaboration with Kelly helped funneled money into the bank account of a man who has allegedly continued his abuse for at least 26 years and shows no signs of stopping.

We should have raised a stink about artists who collaborate with Kelly a long time ago; some of us, including journalists like DeRogatis and Jamilah Lemieux, have. But news cycles cycle on, outrage dims, and momentum stalls. Each new allegation or reentry of an old one into public discourse offers music consumers another opportunity to ask artists why they participated in the music industry’s cover-up for Kelly and why they haven’t, as a booster of his career, condemned his actions. There is no statute of limitations on the crime of enriching an alleged child rapist. By coming out against him late in the game, these artists still have an opportunity to publicize his pattern of victimization and get their fans to support an industry boycott of his work.

Celebrities already use their public platforms for advocacy against sexual predators all the time. Lady Gaga, who’s spoken publicly about being sexually assaulted when she was 19 by a man 20 years her senior, made an earnest, graphic music video about sexual assault for her song “Til It Happens to You” in 2015, depicting survivors with messages like “BELIEVE ME” scrawled on their bodies. She invited 50 survivors of sexual assault onstage with her to perform the song at last year’s Oscars. Of her friend Kesha, who accused producer Dr. Luke of years of emotional and sexual abuse, Gaga has said, “I feel like she’s being very publicly shamed for something that happens in the music industry all the time, to women and men. I just want to stand by her side because I can’t watch another woman that went through what I’ve been through suffer.”

Yet Gaga made “Do What U Want” with Kelly in 2013, mimed fellatio with him onstage at the American Music Awards, then pulled the already-taped video for the song due to growing allegations against Kelly and director Terry Richardson. (Yes, Gaga made a video with two alleged sexual abusers for a song that advises the listener to “do what you want with my body.”) Gaga blamed her team and her tight schedule for a video she says she didn’t like and didn’t want to release, but other sources claimed that Gaga thought the highly sexual video wouldn’t play well after DeRogatis’ reporting on Kelly resurfaced in December 2013 and reports of Richardson’s alleged harassment came out in early 2014. Instead of addressing the allegations against Richardson and Kelly and taking an ethical stance, Gaga spun her scrapping of the video as a move of artistic self-editing.

In other industries, we expect major players to defend or end their personal and financial connections to bad actors almost as a matter of policy. Dozens of companies pulled their ads from Bill O’Reilly’s show after the New York Times revealed that Fox News had paid $13 million to settle five separate sexual harassment claims against him. Lately, when women come out with stories of discrimination and harassment in the tech industry, big names in the field are pressed to speak up, even if they’re not directly involved. (Venture capitalist Chris Sacca recently bragged about doing just that—tweeting support for Ellen Pao after she lost her discrimination suit against Kleiner Perkins—in a post about his own role in Silicon Valley’s mistreatment of women.) But in the entertainment industry, with a few major exceptions like the singular case of Bill Cosby, celebrities are usually forgiven their connections to abusers, even as they help those abusers appear harmless and amass wealth.

The recent example of Kesha and Dr. Luke provides useful contrast to the nonreaction of music stars to Kelly’s documented history of sexually manipulating teen girls. Taylor Swift publicly donated $250,000 to Kesha for her legal battle against her alleged abuser, a well-known pop producer. Miley Cyrus and Kelly Clarkson, both of whom had worked with Dr. Luke in the past, also came out with public statements to put themselves on Kesha’s side. Adele, the biggest recording artist on Sony, which owned the Dr. Luke’s Kesha-producing label, made a statement in support of Kesha while accepting a BRIT award last year. Sony happens to be R. Kelly’s label, too, but Adele isn’t saying a peep about him. His alleged victims are far more numerous than Dr. Luke’s, as far as the general public knows, but they aren’t famous and, crucially, it seems most of them aren’t white. In a Colorlines piece published this week, Lemieux writes that Kelly’s continued career success is indicative of “the idea that black men are more in need of protection than black women.” Research has shown, she continues, that “black girls are widely perceived as being older or more mature than they actually are, which helps to explain the number of people who don’t see teenage girls who have sexual relationships with men like Kelly as victims, even when they are legally unable to consent.” The women who’ve charged Kelly with rape, assault, and abuse have to watch their alleged assailant make millions off his music because his colleagues have kept mum and recorded with him in spite of his history.

Pushing for Kelly’s former collaborators to renounce him works in two ways: First, it pressures individual artists to stop enriching him and supporting his public profile. It also sends a clear message to unaffiliated observers that the swell of public opinion is falling against Kelly, and they’d be better off not booking him in their arena, hosting him on their talk shows, or inviting him to do a guest spot on a new track. True, it would be sad if DeRogatis’ most recent revelations in BuzzFeed (nearly the only allegations of abuse against Kelly that involve women above the age of consent) were the thing that finally convinced Kelly’s one-time associates to speak out against him. But you know what they say about apologizing for lining the pockets of alleged child rapists—better do it late than never. When some next set of accusations lands on Kelly, as it almost certainly will, Gaga the survivor’s advocate will be glad she did.

Thinx Founder Wore Breast Pumps Around Burning Man and Shared Milk With Burners

Thinx Founder Wore Breast Pumps Around Burning Man and Shared Milk With Burners

by Christina Cauterucci @ The XX Factor

Now that the gyrating hordes have returned from Burning Man, it’s time to catch up on all the beautiful acts of intention and community and MDMA they committed on the playa. This year’s star is Miki Agrawal, former purveyor of Thinx period underwear and living, breathing TED talk. In an Instagram slideshow Agrawal posted on Tuesday, the new mother described pumping breast milk for her three days at the annual dust bowl.

“So many people told me that they had no idea that I had to keep pumping every three hours because they didn’t know that breasts would become engorged and super painful if they were not pumped,” Agrawal wrote, “nature's way of keeping mama and baby working together :-)”

Because Burning Man encourages an ethos of gift-giving, Agrawal didn’t keep her nutritious secretions to herself. She gave most of it away to consenting adults, who apparently couldn’t get enough. “Some people downed a whole four ounces hoping for a hangover cure,” Agrawal wrote on Instagram. “Some wanted it for their coffee to make lattes. So many were excited and curious to try it. I drank some too when I ran out of water, it tastes like sweet coconut milk!” Apparently this is common practice on the playa: Other breast-feeding commenters on the post wrote that they “loved sharing all the wonders of breastmilk” with other burners and served it to patrons at a Burning Man diner.

This endorsement of public breast milk consumption, accompanied by several photos of Agrawal wearing her breast pumps around the playa, is truly the ne plus ultra of posts about breast-feeding shaming. Not only is Agrawal proudly asserting her need and right to pump in a place that doesn’t look particularly hospitable to pumping, but she is passing the pump tube to another burner like she’s administering a beer bong. Women have said in their social media accounts of breast-feeding and pumping in public that it is natural, necessary, and a perfectly OK thing to do around strangers. To that, Agrawal adds: a fantastic source of party refreshments.

Agrawal is pretty much the personification of Burning Man, making her the perfect vessel for this peak–Burning Man performance of radical self-reliance. She digs startup wordplay—she called herself the “She-E-O” of Thinx and is writing a book called Disrupt-Her—and peppers her personal website with identifiers like “social entrepreneur,” “impact investor,” “dreamer,” and “societal-norm-busting-millennial.” She considers herself a capitalist revolutionary, wrote a book called Do Cool Shit, and has a fetish for ill-proportioned hats. She sometimes plays the DJ at parties for the organization her sister founded: Daybreaker, which, like Burning Man, is a gathering of forced profundity where people wear lamé and, you know, connect.

She also loves talking about bodily fluids. In addition to the period underwear, Agrawal has launched a line of underwear for urinary incontinence and a portable bidet called Tushy. A former Thinx employee filed a sexual harassment complaint against Agrawal for, among other inappropriate office behaviors, FaceTime-ing employees from the toilet. One wonders if Agrawal’s “got breastmilk?” post is a low-key ad for some forthcoming venture centered on a better breast pump—or as is Agrawal’s shtick, subverting the taboos around breast pumping. “Every human has been birthed and raised somehow and yet even the smartest people have no idea what this process looks like,” she wrote on her Instagram slideshow. “Nobody learns how to become a parent, let alone a good one. Time to change this! Great parenting can change the world! More conversations about this soon!” Soon.

But if Agrawal’s breast-milk bistro—“Miki’s Milk Bar,” an Instagram commenter said it was called—was a promotion scheme for some future innovation around her new favorite secretion, it would violate one of Burning Man’s core principles: decommodification, which forbids sponsorships and advertising. “Breast milk” would also screw up the pneumonic device of her current brand, the four Ps: pee, poop, periods, and pizza. That incongruous last entry refers to a gluten-free pizza chain she started in New York. No word on where they get their cheese.

Illuminati and Music

by noreply@blogger.com (Pop Music) @ The World of Pop Music