Jan 08
Her eye on the news

The 2018 edition of the Golden Globe Awards was all about women uniting, supporting one another and daring to speak their truth to the power of men, as Oprah Winfrey put it in her inspiring speech Sunday night. Natalie Portman did just that as she appeared onstage with director Ron Howard to announce the nominees and winner for best director.

After Howard expressed their “honor … to be here to present the award for best director,” Natalie Portman made sure to emphasize that the nominees were all male.  

Viewers on social media thoroughly enjoyed what they described as a “jab” at The Hollywood Foreign Press Association for the missing female nominees.

Watch a clip of the moment below:


Read the full story at The Independent.



Oprah gives rousing acceptance speech at Golden Globes, sparks presidential speculation

Actress explains why she wore red dress to Golden Globes while everyone else wore black

Powerful words

Before she lost her battle with ovarian cancer last week, 27-year-old Holly Butcher wrote an open letter encouraging readers to treat “each day is a gift.” As Yahoo reports, her words have touched thousands of people, garnering thousands of shares and “likes” on Facebook.

Butcher, who hailed from from Brisbane, Australia, was fighting Ewing’s sarcoma, a very rare cancer that forms in bone or soft tissue. When she wrote the letter, she knew that she was dying.

“I always imagined myself growing old, wrinkled and grey- most likely caused by the beautiful family (lots of kiddies) I planned on building with the love of my life,” she wrote. “I want that so bad it hurt … I don’t want to go. I love my life. I am happy. I owe that to my loved ones. But the control is out of my hands.”

She also urged readers to appreciate the life they have, and to live it fully.

“Get up early sometimes and listen to the birds while you watch the beautiful colours the sun makes as it rises,” she wrote. “Listen to music … really listen. Music is therapy. Old is best. Cuddle your dog. Far out, I will miss that. Talk to your friends. Put down your phone. Are they doing okay? Travel if it’s your desire, don’t if it’s not. Work to live, don’t live to work. Seriously, do what makes your heart feel happy. Eat the cake. Zero guilt. Say no to things you really don’t want to do. Don’t feel pressured to do what other people might think is a fulfilling life.. you might want a mediocre life and that is so okay. Tell your loved ones you love them every time you get the chance and love them with everything you have.”

Before signing off, Holly encouraged blood donations, which, she said, helped keep her alive for an extra year.

Her post has been liked nearly 60,00 times and shared more than 46, 000 times. “I don’t know you but my heart is breaking that the world will lose you way too soon,” one commenter, Beth Lee Segal, posted. “I will keep your words close to my heart and know you’ve made a great difference.”

Read the full story at Yahoo.


At the 75th Annual Golden Globes Award show Sunday night on Los Angeles, nearly every woman in attendance wore black in a show of solidarity with the #MeToo movement and the newly-created advocacy group Time’s Up. One woman, however, stood out for not wearing black. Actress Blanca Blanco, showed up on the red carpet — and tweeted a photo of herself — wearing red, and it left many on social media seeing red, as she came under fire from people who denounced the wardrobe choice as “appalling” and the actress for not “joining this rallying cry.” Others suggested the dress itself was the wrong “brand of sexy.”

On Monday, Blanco addressed the uproar over her outfit, telling Refinery29 in a statement, “I love red. Wearing red does not mean I am against [the] Time’s Up movement.” She expressed solidarity with the women who have spoken out about sexual misconduct and said that she stood by their wardrobe choices for the award show. Blanco added, “I am excited about the Time’s Up movement because true change is long overdue.”

In an interview with Fox News, however, Blanco elaborated and said the backlash upset her. “It hurts my feelings, but I guess it’s part of being in our industry. We have people who appreciate you and others that don’t. The designer Atria Couture did an amazing job with my dress and I appreciate them for dressing me,” she said, adding, “shaming is part of the problem.”

Blanco also took to Twitter to defend herself, saying, “The issue is bigger than my dress color,” and that “red is passionate.”

The 36-year-old actress has appeared in the films Bermuda Tentacles and Fishes N’ Loaves: Heaven Sent, and is set to star in the forthcoming indie thriller Fake News, according to Refinery 29, which reported that only three other women were seen at the event not wearing black.

Read the full story at The Independent.


Oprah gives rousing acceptance speech at Golden Globes, sparks presidential speculation

Multiple allegations

Australian actor Craig McLachlan has been accused of sexual misconduct by three women who appeared with him in a 2014 production of the Rocky Horror Show. He has denied the allegations.

As the BBC reports, the three women — Christie Whelan Browne, Erika Heynatz and Angela Scundi — say they were harassed and assaulted on and off stage.

In a joint report by Fairfax Media and Australia’s ABC, Whelan Browne said that McLachlan assaulted her while they were performing a carefully choreographed sex scene on stage. The scene featured both actors in a bed, and McLachlan was supposed to kiss her neck and then disappear below the sheets. But Whelan Browne alleges that he went further than that.

“He started the kissing down the neck and down the arm, but then it gradually moved to the breasts and down the stomach,” she said. “So he would keep kissing as if he was going to keep going and I would have to swat him away.”

She also alleges that McLachlan once pulled her underwear aside and began kissing her rear end.

“There is nothing I can do,” she recalled. “I am stuck. There’s 2000 people watching me and can’t see him.”

Scundi told Australian media that McLachlan made inappropriate comments about her breasts, and once pushed himself against her while wearing only boxer shorts. She also claims that the actor called her into his dressing room and exposed himself to her.

Heynatz alleges that McLachlan once cornered her in a green room and began kissing her neck. In another incident, she says, he came into her dressing room, told her he was falling for her, and began kissing her without consent.

“Ultimately, it’s just like being kissed by the boss,” she said. “You want to work with these people. You don’t want to be touched by them, kissed by them, you don’t want them to be sexualizing you.”

The women said they decided to come forward because McLachlan is reprising his role as Dr. Frank N. Furter in a current production of the Rocky Horror Show.

McLachlan, a winner of the Gold Logie, Australia’s top television award, has denied the allegations. “They seem to be simple inventions, perhaps made for financial reasons, perhaps to gain notoriety,” he told the Herald.

Australian police told the BBC that they are “investigating allegations of sexual offenses dating back to 2014,” but would not elaborate further.

La bise

French politician Aude Picard-Wolff has made national waves for rejecting the French practice of “la bise” — a traditional greeting that involves planting a kiss on each cheek of the person you are greeting, as French President Emmanuel Macron and Paris Mayor Anne Hildago are seen doing above.

Picard-Wolff, the mayor of the small village of Morette, sent an email to 73 councilors saying that she would “prefer to shake hands, like men do,” France24 reports.

In France, it is customary for women to greet men and other women by kissing them twice — or more, in some regions of the country. Alain d’Iribarne, a labour sociologist and economist, told The Telegraph that the practice began in the 1960s after student uprisings espoused “familiarity over hierarchical distance.” But some women are now pushing back against the practice.

Picard-Wolff told The Local that having to kiss dozens of male colleagues is a waste of time and unhygienic. Above all, she said, the practice “shows an inequality between men and women.” She also noted that her email was well-received by all of her colleagues.

Picard-Wolff is not the first to publicly take issue with la bise — in August, the French blogger Romy Duhem-Verdière wrote about grappling with how to tell her colleagues that she did not wish to partake in the double kiss. But Picard-Wolff has once again sparked discussion about whether or not la bise is a sexist practice.

“It’s French custom to kiss people we know well, even amongst men, depending on where you live,” one Twitter user wrote, according to France24. “If the habit bothers you, offer your hand in the morning. It’ll be clear that we shouldn’t offer the cheek.”

But Raphaëlle Rémy-Leleu, a spokesperson for the women’s rights group Osez le Feminisme, told The Local that she believes la bise is sexist.

“We are really talking about the importance of non-sexist and positive education — teaching children when they are very young that they are not obliged to do these greeting kisses,” she said. “Too often women do not dare to shake hands and more often than not they are mocked when they wish to do so.”

‘Language of love’

During a special baptism service in the Sistine Chapel, Pope Francis assured mothers that they could freely breastfeed their babies inside the Vatican, echoing remarks he made last year at this time.

“If they start performing a concert [by crying], or if they are uncomfortable or too warm or don’t feel at ease or are hungry … breastfeed them, don’t be afraid, feed them, because this too is the language of love,” he said in an off-the-cuff homily, Reuters reports.

Francis leaves the Sistine Chapel, following a special audience for the traditional exchange of New Year greeting on January 9, 2017 in Vatican City, Vatican. (Vatican Pool/Corbis via Getty Images).

The Pope made his supportive remarks during a yearly baptism event for the children of employees of the Vatican and the diocese of Rome. During the two-hour ceremony, he baptized 18 girls and 16 boys.

This is at least the fifth time that Pope Francis has encouraged women to feel comfortable breastfeeding in sacred spaces, as Jezebel points out. For instance, during a ceremony commemorating the baptism of Jesus in January of last year, he told mothers that if their children “are crying because … then go ahead and feed them, just as Mary breastfed Jesus.”

But considering that women continue to face harassment and retribution for breastfeeding their children in public, the pope’s repeated endorsement is, to many, welcome and necessary.

Read the full story at Reuters.  


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Deconstructing Woody

According to the only man believed to have read the full 57 years-worth of Woody Allen’s drafts, stories, and other assorted writings available at Princeton University, Allen’s work can largely be summarized by one basic theme — an “insistent, vivid obsession with young women and girls.”

In an opinion piece for The Washington Post, writer and author Richard Morgan said he found that Allen’s work stuck “almost religiously to a formula: A relationship on the brink of failure is thrown into chaos by the introduction of a compelling outsider, almost always a young woman.” In the vast majority of Allen’s movies, there’s also a significant age gap between the older romantic male lead — often Allen himself — and the younger female lead. In one draft for a story about an older man who obsessively stares at young girls, Morgan noted, Allen went so far as to write “c’est moi,” or “it’s me,” in the margins.

This theme, perhaps unsurprisingly, has also been a large part of Allen’s own personal life. Allen dated actress Stacey Nelkin when she was a 17-year-old high school student. At the time, he was 42 and they dated for two years. It’s worth noting Nelkin has defended the relationship and insisted that he is “a wonderful man.”

At age 43, he stole 16-year-old actress Mariel Hemingway’s first kiss — an event she later said drove to her tears. Later in life, Allen’s then-girlfriend Mia Farrow allegedly discovered naked pictures taken by Allen of her adoptive daughter, and Allen’s current wife, Soon-Yi Previn, who was between the ages of 19 and 21 at the time. Farrow’s 7-year-old daughter, Dylan Farrow, also told her mother that Allen had hurt her by touching her vagina with his finger.

In December, Dylan Farrow authored an Op-Ed for the Los Angeles Times in which she questioned how Hollywood could continue to embrace Allen — and deny her horrific story of repeated abuse. Allen, she claims, uses the same “defense-through-intimidation techniques” that Harvey Weinstein allegedly deployed — including the reported hiring of private investigators to target officers involved in the sex-abuse allegations leveled against him. And while actress Ellen Page, at least, has disavowed her decision to work with Allen as “the biggest regret of my career,” other actresses, including Kate Winslet and most of the rest of Hollywood, have remained conspicuously silent about the accusations against him — and the bold reality of his preferred subject matter.

In October, Allen also had an interesting response to the then still developing Harvey Weinstein scandal in which he warned the BBC about the possibility of “a witch hunt atmosphere” where “every guy in an office who winks at a woman is suddenly having to call a lawyer to defend himself.”

Read the full story at The Washington Post.


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