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The state of women’s soccer in Spain, a look inside a human-trafficking intervention courtroom, and a special request from The Lily:
Twitter users brought up several issues with a new “consent” condom after Tulipan, an Argentinian adult toys and condom company, unveiled it last week. Its promotional video was released with the hashtag #PlacerConsentido, or permitted pleasure. The condom itself, which was designed by ad agency BBDO, requires four hands to open it by clicking buttons on the box simultaneously. Users pointed out that the condom won’t stop or prevent sexual assault from occurring, and that it could actually be used to “prove” consent in rape trials. Other people argued that it may discourage people from using condoms and doesn’t consider people with disabilities.
Responding to the backlash, Tulipan executive creative director Joaquin Campinas told Rolling Stone that the condom wasn’t intended to be sold in stores. “It was never intended for sale. It is a limited edition designed only to raise awareness about … consent and for that reason it can’t have commercial purposes,” Campinas said in an email. BBDO Argentina’s creative directors also told CNN that Tulipan “has always spoken of safe pleasure, but for this campaign we understood that we had to talk about the most important thing in every sexual relationship: pleasure is possible only if you both give your consent first.”
Last week, Slate reported that the White House invited antiabortion activists and others to a screening of “Gosnell,” an antiabortion film released in 2018. The film tracks the 2013 prosecution of Kermit Gosnell, an abortion doctor found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder. The film portrays second- and third-trimester abortions in gruesome detail; President Trump has seized on the issue of late-term abortions in the past.
The screening, which took place Friday, reportedly had about 150 guests in attendance. It was seen as another move by the administration to court antiabortion activists. “This is a really important film and the White House’s willingness to give it a voice is very powerful,” Kristie Hamrick, a spokeswoman for the antiabortion group Students of Life for America, told Politico.
Three women have filed a lawsuit against Uber Technologies, alleging the ride-hailing app left them “sitting ducks” to men in Los Angeles who posed as Uber drivers to sexually assault female passengers. The women, named as Jane Doe 1, 2 and 3 in the suit, say they were raped in separate incidents by men who posed as drivers. They allege that Uber knew fake drivers were preying on women but did nothing to warn customers.
The suit came a week after Samantha Josephson, a 21-year-old University of South Carolina student, was killed after getting into the car of a man authorities believe she thought was her Uber driver.
Women’s soccer has never been more popular in Spain; last month, a record-breaking crowd of more than 60,000 attended a Women’s Champions League game in Madrid. And for the first time ever, a union representing professional women’s soccer players in Spain is negotiating a collective bargaining agreement for better working conditions and pay.
But players still make vastly less than their male counterparts. Some professional women players need to work second and even third jobs to stay afloat. Writing for The Lily, Barcelona-based journalist Meg Bernhard spoke to the soccer players and coaches who say that, while people are finally paying attention, the sport still has a long way to go.
On Tuesday, two Democratic congresswomen announced the formation of a Black Maternal Health Caucus. By the afternoon, at least 57 members had joined Reps. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.) and Alma Adams (D-N.C.) in the caucus, which aims to “elevate black maternal health as a national priority,” Underwood said at a news conference.
Underwood cited the high maternal death rate among black women in the United States as an inspiration to co-found the caucus: Black women are nearly four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. In a separate statement, Adams said the issue was “personal” to her as a black mother and grandmother: “I started this caucus so my colleagues and I can work together to find culturally-competent solutions specific to the Black community,” she wrote.
• After scientists unveiled the first-ever image of a black hole Wednesday, people celebrated scientist Katie Bouman, 29, who developed the algorithm that made the image possible.
• In a victory for abortion rights activists in the country, South Korea’s Constitutional Court ruled that a 66-year-old law banning abortion and making it punishable by up to two years in prison was unconstitutional.
• Democratic lawmakers unveiled the “Be Heard Act,” which aims to address workplace harassment by ending mandatory arbitration and nondisclosure agreements, giving workers more time to report harassment and eliminating tipped minimum wage.
• A nationwide study in Scotland found that receiving the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine at ages 12 to 13 significantly lowered women’s risk of developing cervical disease, which can be caused by the virus.
• Jackie Young, a Notre Dame guard, was the first pick in the WNBA draftWednesday night. She was selected No. 1 by the Las Vegas Aces.
Earlier this month, “Blowin’ Up,” a documentary directed by Stephanie Wang-Breal, made its theatrical release. The film takes a look at a human-trafficking intervention court in Queens, N.Y., in which women accused of prostitution-related crimes are not punished — instead, they are offered assistance to leave sex work.
The world viewers gain access to is, according to a New York Times review, “an overwhelmingly female one,” replete with a female judge, lawyers and counselors. These women ultimately offer an uplifting look at criminal justice, even as the defendants, many of whom are African American and undocumented Asian immigrants, face uncertain futures.
Photographer Jess T. Dugan took her first photography class at the very end of high school. She went on to attend the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, where, from Day 1, she says she was “committed to making pictures and making portraits.” Since then, Dugan has made a name for herself as a photographer who explores identity — specifically gender and sexuality — in two principal projects.
The first, called “Every Breath We Drew,” is a long-term project that includes self-portraits and people that Dugan feels a connection to — she calls it more personal in nature. “To Survive on This Shore” was a five-year project that consists of photographs of and interviews with people who are transgender or gender non-conforming and over age 50. Dugan received an emerging artist ICP Infinity Award earlier this month.
On her “tunnel-vision focus” on portraiture: “When I began making pictures, I was out as a queer person. I was part of a really active and vibrant LGBTQ community, and my first portraits were of myself and people in my community. From the very beginning, portraiture allowed me to speak about identity in a way that felt powerful and also meaningful to me personally.”
On her process when taking portraits of others: “I most often go to people’s homes or personal spaces. I’ll spend sometimes several hours talking to them. Taking a portrait, I often get their input on things like location and pose and clothing. So it’s something we create together.”
On consent in photography: “The issue of consent is really, really important to me and my work, particularly because I often work with LGBTQ communities. [My process] allows the subjects to present themselves to the viewer.”
On the power of photography: “I believe really strongly that representation is important, and that seeing yourself and people who look like you represented in the media is really significant and can be really validating, particularly for folks whose identities are more marginalized or aren’t in the mainstream.”
A friend gave me this book for Christmas last year, and I think everyone should read it. This is not a self-help book. It did not find me a boyfriend (sigh). Through personal, captivating and incredibly vulnerable essays, author Mandy Len Catron examines her love life. She questions why we love — and why we love who we love — in a super relatable way. I highlighted several quotes, and even keep a picture on my phone of one page that particularly resonated with me.
—Aviva Loeb, Washington Post designer
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