I Am Not Your Nice ‘Mammy’: How Racist Stereotypes Still Impact Women

North America (Conversation) – How does a 100-year-old racist stereotype still impact Black women in North American institutions? When I was a PhD student, a white woman professor was interested in my research, even though I was not her student. After I voiced concern about the similarities between her work and mine, the professor reprimanded me over email. Like “the mammy” who was often punished if she did not appear warm and nurturing, I was told to stay in my lane and to remember my PhD status. When Black women…

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One-Party Rule in 49 State Legislatures Reflects Flaws in Democratic Process

United States (Conversation) – Across the U.S., Republicans control 30 statehouses and the Democrats control 18. That is the largest number of one-party controlled state legislatures since 1914. Minnesota is currently the only state where there’s not one party in control of the state legislature – Republicans have a majority in the state Senate chamber, while Democrats hold the state House chamber. The Democrats’ so-called “blue wave” in the 2018 midterm elections was not big enough to put a major dent into the Republican’s control of state legislatures. As a…

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Frozen II: Return of the Strong Female Characters That Little Girls Need to See

World Wide (Conversation) – The brooding, dramatic trailer for Frozen II generated a lot of excitement on its release last week when it was watched 116.4m times in just 24 hours. In the two-minute teaser, Elsa stands alone on a stormy shore before running at the towering waves and turning them to ice. By the end of the trailer, which also features her sister Anna and friends Kristoff and Olaf, the younger sibling has drawn Kristoff’s sword and is leaping towards an unknown assailant hidden from view. Disney has been…

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We Crunched the Numbers on Ten Recent ‘World’s Best Guitarist’ Lists. Where Are the Women?

World Wide (Conversation) – Who is currently regarded as the greatest guitarist of all time? It’s a hard question to answer but plenty have tried. In the last decade, a plethora of lists have sought to rank our guitar greats, drawing variously on panels of experts, lone “specialists”, and public opinion polls. My colleagues and I recently analysed ten such lists, which were published on the websites of music journals such as Rolling Stone, Louder and Guitar World, industry groups such as WatchMojo and UDiscover Music and online guitar communities…

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To End the HIV Epidemic, Addressing Poverty and Inequities One of Most Important Treatments

United States (Conversation) – In his State of the Union speech, President Trump called for ending the HIV epidemic in the United States within 10 years. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and senior public health officials stated that the government plans to focus on highly impacted areas and getting drugs to people at risk. I am a social scientist with over 10 years of expertise in the area of health disparities. My research interests include understanding and addressing disparities in HIV and cancer outcomes, particularly among immigrant and…

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The Catholic Church Is Headed for Another Sex Abuse Scandal as #Nunstoo Speak Up

World Wide (Conversation) – All eyes will turn to Rome between 21-24 February, when senior church clerics across the world meet to discuss how to handle the widening sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. Until recently, this has been focused on the abuse of children. But now Pope Francis has admitted – for the first time – sexual abuse by priests against religious women exists and must be acknowledged. And Catholic women are speaking out, under the #NunsToo hashtag. Twenty-five years ago, Irish nun, Maura O’Donohue prepared an extensive…

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Four Southern African Nations Petition to Lift the International Ivory Trade Ban

Africa (GV) – As the world prepares for the 18th annual Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and their Conference of Parties (CoP18), four southern African countries — Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa — have submitted a petition and proposal seeking to remove restrictions and allow international trade in registered raw ivory of their elephants. CITES is an “international agreement between governments to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival,” and the convention will take place…

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Climate Change Is Killing off Earth’s Little Creatures

World Wide (Conversation) – Climate change gets blamed for a lot of things these days: inundating small islands, fueling catastrophic fires, amping-up hurricanes and smashing Arctic sea ice. But a global review of insect research has found another casualty: 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered. It confirms what many have been suspecting: in Australia and around the world, arthropods – which include insects, spiders, centipedes and the like — appear to be in trouble. The global review comes hard on the heels of research published…

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Hidden Women of History: Tarpe Mills, 1940s Comic Writer, and Her Feisty Superhero Miss Fury

(Conversation) – In April 1941, just a few short years after Superman came swooping out of the Manhattan skies, Miss Fury – originally known as Black Fury – became the first major female superhero to go to print. She beat Charles Moulton Marsden’s Wonder Woman to the page by more than six months. More significantly, Miss Fury was the first female superhero to be written and drawn by a woman, Tarpé Mills. Miss Fury’s creator – whose real name was June – shared much of the gritty ingenuity of her…

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What We Know About the Migrant Caravan Waiting at the Texas-Mexico Border

United States (TexasTribune) – For the sixth-straight day since arriving at the Texas-Mexico border, roughly 1,600 Central American migrants intent on seeking asylum in the U.S. are playing a frustrating waiting game in Mexico. The migrants, who are mostly Honduran, are being housed in a former warehouse in Piedras Negras — and being guarded by Mexican law enforcement — while they wait to be let into the U.S. But U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers are only able to process about 20 of the migrants a day, CNN reported, meaning…

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