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The News, Issue 4

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Stories come in different shapes and forms – through pictures, video, the written word, or verbally. I found some interesting news items over the past few weeks that I thought I’d share this week.

If you haven’t already seen it somewhere floating around on social media, a woman walked around New York City for 10 hours and received numerous catcalls/verbal harassment (over 100), all of it filmed. I think any woman can relate to this, but to visually see it and hear what they say is something else entirely. I don’t think men – even the ones who do try to empathize – really understand the feeling of constantly being harassed like that. It’s annoying, infuriating, and so much more. Sometimes you want to so badly turn around and tell the guy to shut the fuck up. But you can’t because something even worse could potentially happen. So you keep walking along and try your best to ignore it. I usually give them very dirty looks. (Jessica Williams from The Daily Show did a “story” on cat calls and it’s definitely worth the watch.)

Syria and Iraq are in the news daily, but the world rarely hears about Lebanon and what’s happening there. From time to time, larger news agencies will cover a story there (many of them actually report from there about what’s happening in Syria). They don’t really come close to getting the full story, though, and as you can imagine, I get quite upset. The repeated and oh so boring line of “violence from Syria is spilling over” doesn’t come close to covering what’s happening in Lebanon, which has a long and tangled history. All I can say is, nothing is black and white. It’s a mess of colors. There is no “good” or “bad.” This isn’t a TV show. These are people’s lives. NPR’s Anne Barnard though came very close to hitting the nail on the head with a story she covered this week on Untangling the Roots of Recent Flare-Ups in Lebanon. It’s worth the listen, but here’s a quote from her:

Lebanon is a bit of a paradox. On the one hand, as you say, it has a history of instability and division. On the other hand, in part because institutions are weak, there’s a certain elasticity to the place. And people really are not eager to relive the civil war experience. And Lebanon has managed to absorb 1 million and more Syrian refugees into a country of 4 million. When you look at the intensity of the conflict next door and the volatility of Lebanon, it’s actually remarkable that things are not worse here. So that’s maybe the bright side.

In line with a story I posted a little bit ago about the origins of Wonder Woman from The New Yorker, NPR’s Terry Gross interviewed Jill Lepore who wrote the article and a book all about Wonder Woman’s creator. The interview was very enlightening, not only about the comic character, but about her creator – William Moulton Marston – who had a wife and a mistress, and children from both. They all lived in the same house and on top of that he was quite the women’s advocate, especially back in the day. The interview is a little over 40 minutes long, but I highly suggest listening to it when you have a little time (drive/metro home perhaps). The author is very funny and informative.

Lastly, a few weeks ago was International Day of the Girl Child. NPR (yes, sorry I know, most of the stories I chose are from NPR this time around) highlighted some photographers who captured the lives of young girls, some of them even child brides. Heartbreaking, but oh so powerful.

That’s it for the news roundup this week! Happy Wednesday! We’re halfway there…

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