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This week:

A bishop apologizes for groping Ariana Grande, the Trump administration’s new sexual assault guidelines for colleges, and a snapshot to commemorate summer.

As the Venice Film Festival wrestles with gender parity, a director wears a ‘Weinstein Is Innocent’ t-shirt on the red carpet

On Saturday night, stars such as Dakota Fanning, Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton showed up to the “Suspiria” premiere at the Venice Film Festival in sparkling dresses and extravagant frocks. But one man — Luciano Silighini Garagnani, a D-list Italian director — wore sneakers, jeans and a t-shirt that read “Weinstein Is Innocent,” with a photo of the Harvey Weinstein’s face on the front.

Weinstein, whose downfall prompted the #MeToo movement last year, is facing charges including rape, sex abuse and sexual misconduct. The stunt was immediately blasted on Twitter, and festival director Alberto Barbera condemned the move.

But it also came amid controversy over women’s representation at the festival, where only one of the 21 movies this year was directed by a woman. On Friday, the Venice Film Festival joined Cannes and Locarno in signing a pledge that’s aimed at achieving gender parity at festivals.

At 106, Roberta McCain attends her son’s funeral — and her granddaughter delivers a powerful political statement

Roberta McCain was the last member of the late Senator John McCain’s family to touch his flag-draped casket. (Eric Thayer/AP)
Roberta McCain was the last member of the late Senator John McCain’s family to touch his flag-draped casket. (Eric Thayer/AP)

On Friday, Roberta McCain held her granddaughter’s hand as congressional leaders honored her son, the late Senator John McCain, who died last week at 81. At 106, Robert McCain has outlived her son. She attended both the Capitol Rotunda ceremony on Friday and Saturday’s ceremony at the Washington National Cathedral.

McCain and his daughter, 33-year-old “The View” co-host Meghan McCain, shared an extremely close bond, too. At Saturday’s ceremony, Meghan McCain gave a powerful tribute to her father — and made a political statement. “The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great,” she said, not-so-subtly rebuking President Trump’s campaign slogan.

Meghan McCain speaks at John McCain’s funeral. (Jonathon Newton/The Washington Post)
Meghan McCain speaks at John McCain’s funeral. (Jonathon Newton/The Washington Post)

Why #RespectAriana was trending at Aretha Franklin’s funeral

Ariana Grande and Bishop Charles H. Ellis III at Aretha Franklin’s funeral. (Paul Sancya/AP/Lily illustration)
Ariana Grande and Bishop Charles H. Ellis III at Aretha Franklin’s funeral. (Paul Sancya/AP/Lily illustration)

Aretha Franklin’s funeral in Detroit on Friday ran for more than eight hours, during which the likes of Jennifer Hudson and Stevie Wonder paid tribute to the Queen of Soul. But one performance in particular got a lot of attention — because of what happened afterward.

As Bishop Charles H. Ellis III, who officiated the entire service, thanked Grammy-nominated artist Ariana Grande for her performance, it appeared that he was holding her breast. The hashtag #RespectAriana quickly started trending online, prompting the bishop to apologize. “It would never be my intention to touch any woman’s breast,” Ellis told the Associated Press on Saturday. “Maybe I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar but again, I apologize.”

After councilwoman is ‘slut-shamed’ online, she confronts the smears head on

(Re-Elect Rachel Hundley)
(Re-Elect Rachel Hundley)

When Rachel Hundley, a city council member from Sonoma, Calif., received an anonymous email earlier this month, she was shocked — it accused her of being “immoral and unethical,” and linked to a site that attacked Hundley for her stance on issues while mayor of Sonoma. It contained photographs from her social media accounts, including some showing her in a bra and underwear.

In response, Hundley released a video that addressed the sexualized attacks, which were indicative of the types of smears aimed at female candidates specifically, head on. “I am here today to tell my faceless bullies that I cannot be shamed into quitting because I am not ashamed,” Hundley says in the video, her eyes fixed on the camera.

Hundley’s community responded positively to the video, rallying around the councilwoman and volunteering to help her campaign.

Betsy DeVos is rewriting how colleges should handle sexual misconduct

New policies spearheaded by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, a draft of which was obtained by the New York Times, could drastically reshape how colleges handle sexual misconduct. Under the Trump administration’s new rules, schools would be less responsible for prosecuting cases, and accusers would have to prove their case using higher standards of evidence. The overhaul will likely be officially announced in September.

U.S. Open recap: The Williams sisters face off, a sexist clothing penalty and more

There have already been a handful of memorable moments from the U.S. Open, which started Monday. On opening day, Serena Williams sported a black tutu amid controversy that her “catsuit” was banned from the French Open. That wasn’t the only notable clothing debate: On Tuesday, the U.S. Tennis Association came under scrutiny after Alize Cornet was penalized for readjusting her shirt on the court. After a break, Cornet returned to the court and adjusted her shirt, briefly flashing her sports bra, and was issued a warning by the umpire for what he said was a code violation.

As Judy Murray, tennis player Andy Murray’s mother, pointed out, men routinely change their shirts on the court. The USTA later said that it regretted the code violation, and that “all players can change their shirts when sitting in the player chair.”

Meanwhile, sisters Serena and Venus Williams were matched up in a game on Friday, where Serena Williams won 6-1, 6-2. NFL players Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, who are known for demonstrating during the national anthem to protest police brutality, attended the match and were introduced to a round of applause. Afterward, Williams praised the two NFL players: “I think every athlete, every human and definitely every African American should be completely grateful and honored how Colin and Eric are doing so much more for the greater good,” she said.

In Arizona, Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema begin battling for Senate

Rep. Martha McSally (R), left, will face off against Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) in Arizona for a Senate seat in November. (Mamta Popat/Arizona Daily Star/AP; Ross D. Franklin/AP)
Rep. Martha McSally (R), left, will face off against Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) in Arizona for a Senate seat in November. (Mamta Popat/Arizona Daily Star/AP; Ross D. Franklin/AP)

On Tuesday, Rep. Martha McSally, a former Air Force fighter pilot, beat out two hard-line opponents to become Arizona’s Republican candidate for Senate. McSally spared no time in turning her attention to the general election, where she’ll face Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema. That matchup is one of this year’s most-watched Senate races; if Sinema wins, she’ll flip a seat that’s been in Republican control for more than two decades.

On Tuesday, McSally told supporters that voters will choose “between a patriot and a protester” come November, casting Sinema as an enemy of American patriotism. In a video, McSally said Sinema “called herself a proud Prada socialist . . . protesting our troops in a pink tutu,” referencing a 2006 interview that Sinema gave to a fashion magazine. Sinema said the remark McSally is referring to was a joke.

Sinema, a rising star in the Democratic Party, has been sharing her own ”bootstraps” story on the campaign trail, which seems to be resonating with voters — public polls have shown Sinema leading McSally since April.

“We need to treat these next 10 weeks like a sprint,” Sinema told supporters Tuesday, according to an ABC affiliate in Phoenix. “We’re going to run as fast as we can, as hard as we can.”

3 Questions With... Lula Saleh

(Tajudin Hassan)
(Tajudin Hassan)

Whether she’s composing poems, singing songs, giving workshops on healing or working as an activist, Lula Saleh uses her voice to effect change. Eritrean and Ethiopian by ethnicity, Saleh was born and raised in Saudi Arabia, and currently resides in Minnesota. She is a recent recipient of the Cedar Commissions, for which she’ll be creating music to debut in 2019.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

In your recent video “Don’t Laugh at My Hair,” which combines your talents in music and poetry, you touch on issues of race, identity and self-confidence. What was the experience that instigated that work?

It was a multitude of experiences that led to me finding my voice in this poem – experiences with isolation as a visibly Muslim and Ethiopian-Eritrean immigrant woman in Minnesota, experiences with microaggressionary racism, sexism and Islamophobia at my alma mater and a constant feeling of non-belonging in Minnesota.

The specific moment that triggered the writing of the poem, though, was an incident in which I felt a negative energy. As an empath, I’m pretty psychic when it comes to how people feel around me and their energy. When I turned around, I saw a person I read as a white woman laughing at me and my hair – or what I perceived to be them laughing at my hair. I had my hair in bantu knots, a style you don’t often see in Minnesota. Being black in the Twin Cities in general is difficult, and expressing ourselves culturally and stylistically can get stifling. . . . The incident took place two years ago but the concept of the video and title of my poem came to me after watching Solange Knowles’s video for her song “Don’t Touch My Hair” and album “A Seat at the Table.” That album covered several themes that resonated with me.

In the face of external forces like racism, Islamophobia and other forms of hate, how do you find the self-love and strength to lift yourself and others in your community up?

Art, spirituality and looking up to other women of color who speak their truths all inspire and motivate me. I consume a lot of art (especially music and poetry) and I am always creating, even if I don’t share or post what I’m working on. I’ve already named Solange, but Erykah Badu is another huge inspiration. Princess Nokia. Jamila Woods. My female ancestors. I know I have an ancestral legacy to reclaim and follow, and a legacy to build. In terms of art, I’m always writing affirmations to myself, journaling, singing songs to myself. Self-love really is about healing. I have a personal, deep and lifelong commitment to healing, because I know my healing is going to need to be ongoing. Spirituality is also important to me and feeling spiritually connected helps me to see the higher purpose of all experiences.

In your music video “Bluu Skies,” you investigate how, as an East African immigrant and member of the African diaspora, you find home. For you, is home a physical place, a community or something else?

Being a Saudi-born African woman, and a daughter of refugees, home has always felt elusive to me. I am teaching myself the concept of “home.” Home is a personal affirmation. Home is my body. Home is my soul. Home is my connection to the Universe and the Divine. My Ethiopian and Eritrean ancestors have always moved, traveled and been diasporic, whether by profession, tribal and familial connections, borders or geopolitics. This is the nature of being from the Horn of Africa. I feel that my story is deeply connected to theirs, and merely a continuation. My desire to seek home is perhaps in itself home. My art is my home.

I have a poem called “Diaspora Daughter Blues,” where I say: “We sisters of the homeless tribes, the wandering daughters of God who refuse to be found, maybe we are each others’ homes, too.” I see and feel home in other diaspora women like me. I choose to find home, over and over again. It is a process and intention.

Sheila Regan, Lily contributor

(Brandie Wedderburn)
(Brandie Wedderburn)

To commemorate the end of summer, we asked Brandie Wedderburn, a photographer based in Los Angeles, to share a photo that she feels celebrates the season. Wedderburn is known for her portraits of women of color. You can follow her on Instagram at @brandiewed.

I tried really hard to be a plant lady, but it just wasn’t working out. A combination of my light-lacking basement apartment and serial neglect killed one too many plants. This year I set out to find the perfect-looking fake substitutes. I settled on a few different succulent stems and a eucalyptus stem from Chip and Joanna Gaines’s lifestyle brand Hearth and Hand (sold at Target). They look great (just like the real thing), and now I’ve got the aesthetic I want without all the responsibility and guilt. —Amy Cavenaile, Lily art director

*Have an idea for a news-inspired baiku? Send us your creation, and you might see it in the next Lily Lines. We follow 5-7-5.

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