This Week in Unladylike: February 03, 2017

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Clockwise from top left: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), former acting U.S. Attorney Gen. Sally Yates, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), airport protesters and Brooklyn's U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly

Nasty Women to the Front


Last Friday, Trump signed an executive order that selectively bans people from seven Muslim-majority countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen) from entering the U.S. for at least the next 90 days and bans all refugees, regardless of their country of origin, for four months. Noticeably absent in that Listicle Heard Round the World? Majority-Muslim nations where the President has business relationships. 

We probably don't need to convince anyone reading this newsletter that this is a terrible, no good move that Politico's Corey Brettschneider and others argue violates the U.S. Constitution's Equal Protection Clause. Even Kim Kardashian is well aware that Americans born in the U.S. pose a more imminent risk to other Americans' safety than folks traveling into the country.

But these days especially, we're all about being statistically prepared for when we step outside our political echo chambers: 

  • Zero people who emigrated from or whose parents emigrated from the seven travel-banned countries have carried out a terrorist killing on U.S. soil. (NYT)
  • One-1,870th of American killings since Sept. 11, 2001, were perpetrated by a Muslim terrorist. (NYT)
  • Where in the world are children in the direst need of aid? Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, all of which are on the banned list. (NYT)

Of course, those affected aren't just statistics. They're people, including a 4-month-old Iranian girl in need of lifesaving heart surgery and 5-year-old boy coming home from Iran who was kept from his mother for hours. The Chronicle of Higher Ed also reports that Iranian academics are disproportionately impacted by the ban, which could have a negative ripple effect within U.S. industries as half come stateside to study STEM fields. 


At the Atlanta airport rally last weekend (Photo by badass babe Lizzy Johnston)


Legal ladies to the rescue

The response was immediate -- and led largely by women. Protesters flooded major airports across the country as part of the #nobannowall movement, and lawyers showed up in droves seeking to help travelers caught up in the chaos. In Washington, D.C., alone, two-thirds of the lawyers were women. Pro bono fact: Women also make up 60 percent of public interest lawyers.

Muslim-American attorney Sarah Dill told reporters that despite attempts at delineating which travelers were allowed in, people from all Muslim-majority countries were being detained or denied entry, including Syrian women and children who "have a dictator committing war crimes, they are coming out of this trauma. … They had all of this hope that they were finally going to have safety and freedom, and they are being sent back.”

While lawyers were on the ground working with families, five judges -- Ann Donnelly, Leonie Brinkema, Allison Burroughs, Judith Dein and Thomas Zilly -- ordered temporary stays on the order from Saturday night into the wee hours of Sunday to halt possible deportations.

Getting political

New York Rep. Nydia Velázquez was out there on Saturday with the protesters demanding justice for detained refugees and lawyers trying to help families navigate the system. Also spotted at Sunday's protests in Battery Park was Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who also happens to be the only senator to vote no on all but one of Trump's cabinet picks; Women's March leaders Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory; and New York City public advocate Tish James.

On Monday, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Sen. Patty Murray (D.-WA) penned a letter on behalf of the Democratic Caucus expressing their "outrage" with the order. Its "haphazard implementation both run counter to our American values and the Constitution, as well as our national security and economic interests," they wrote. Executive action “that denies entry to refugees escaping violence and oppression with an explicit preference for people of one religion over another is unconscionable and unconstitutional.”

Sally forth

Then-interim U.S. Attorney General and #ATL native Sally Yates also had a case of the Mondays. That night, she sent Justice Department lawyers a letter saying she wasn't "convinced that the executive order is lawful" ("not convinced" is pretty strong language from the interim AG, btw), and that “consequently, for as long as I am the acting attorney gneral, the Department of Justice will not present arguments in defense of the executive order unless and until I become convinced that it is appropriate to do so.”

In an unprecedented, though unsurprising, move, Trump fired Yates before the night was out, cueing way too many Apprentice jokes across the internet. In a statement, the White House framed Yates as having "betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States. Irony alert: During Yates's confirmation hearing in 2015, Alabama Senator and soon-to-be U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions pressed her over whether she'd stand up to the Obama administration if it attempted to enforce something she disagreed with legally. 

Her response at the time? “I believe that the attorney general or the deputy attorney general has an obligation to follow the law and the constitution and to give their independent legal advice to the president."

Yates stayed true to her word until the end.

Read more: Trump's Nightmare: Women Opposing Him.

~ Have questions or conundrums you'd like us to tackle? We're all ears. ~

news if you're nasty
Ambrielle-Baker Rogers, Morgan Coleman and Miah Bell-Olson dressed as Dorothy Vaughan, Katherine Johnson and Mary Jackson, and they totally nailed it
Some not-depressing things happened! 
  • Meet Jess Herbst, Texas' first openly transgender mayor. Since coming out publicly as trans, Herbst says she's received overwhelming support from her wife, children and residents of the small town she governs called -- we kid you not -- New Hope. (NYT)
  • A rising number of girls are tackling American football. Hopefully medical experts keep on tackling the sport's problem with head injuries and culture of violent masculinityyyyyy ... (Teen Vogue
  • Tween powerhouse Marley Dias of #1000BlackGirlBooks fame has landed book deal for a "keep-it-real" guide to activism (Elle)
  • A Justice-Department-funded task force in New York City will study why roughly 600 girls end up in juvenile detention every year and how communities can help lower their recidivism rates (WNYC)

 Money, honey
  • In Turks and Caicos, women hold so many of the top jobs that the country's Gender Affairs Department is shifting its focus to help boys "take up more pivotal roles in society." 
  • Don't think the gender gap doesn't extend to the arts. Photojournalists have had to deal with it -- not to mention harassment and exclusion -- forever. Are women-only gallery shows a fix?
  • Hebrew poets Rachel Bluwstein and Leah Goldberg will be featured on banknotes in Israel
  • A house of one's own: Single women in the U.S. are buying homes at twice the rate of single men, but they tend to buy lower-priced properties. 

Unladylike to-do's 
  • Support our smart girls: Just like too many adults, little girls apparently believe brilliance is a male trait, research into gender stereotypes shows. At 5, girls and boys think smarts are associated with their own gender. But by the time they hit 6, girls are more likely to link brilliance with boys. (Guardian)  
  • Keep your eye on repro rights: It turns out an Irish mom who bought abortion pills for her daughter -- and who was then prosecuted under the Offences Against the Person Act -- was reported to authorities by her doctor. The mother has won the right to challenge her prosecution, but reproductive-rights watchers are concerned about the culture of fear and lack of access to appropriate follow-up care. (Guardian)
  • Beware the White House's agenda: This whole "religious freedom" thing is not going away, y'all. A leaked draft of an executive order illustrates that Trump and co. seek "to create wholesale exemptions for people and organizations who claim religious or moral objections to same-sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion, and trans identity, and it seeks to curtail women’s access to contraception and abortion through the Affordable Care Act." (Nation)

Resources for resistance
and now this

The Queen Mother


Bey's photographic announcement that she and Jay-Z are expecting twins was not only fabulous news -- and a welcome distraction from the news cycle -- but it's also Instagram's most-liked photo EVERRRR.

Twitterally


On Thursday, Axios reported that President Trump "likes the women who work for him to 'dress like women.' We hear that women who worked in Trump's campaign field offices ... felt pressure to wear dresses to impress Trump."

And thus #dresslikeawoman was born.

unladylike diversions
Caroline's binge-watching: Z: The Beginning of Everything charts the functional dysfunction between Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, but no amount of giant merkins can make up for the distractingly awful Southern accents, self-conscious acting and stilted dialogue. But we love you, Christina. 

Cristen's Podcast Recs


First, I'd like to voice my profound displeasure that the Trump dossier has officially rained on my pet abbrevs of podcast to p'cast. Secondly, I'm in a deep p'cast phase partly because I'm a fangirl and partly because I believe that just as good writing requires a voracious reading habit, good podcasting demands a lot of listening. Three of my newest faves:
  • For political commentary not carried on by white dudes (as much as I heart Pod Save America's inside baseball): In the Thick
  • For learning how to exercise empathy: Us vs. Them
  • For old Hollywood escapism: You Must Remember This
PS - I. Can't. Wait. To. Podcast. Again. 

PPS - Also. Video. 
words to live by
"The very frequent inquiry made after my lectures by interested friends is, 'What can I do to help the cause?' The answer always is: 'Tell the world the facts.'"
-- Ida B. Wells


Journalist, activist and anti-lynching crusader Ida B. Wells believed the written word was crucial to dismantling white supremacy and violence. Today, the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting and the Ida B. Wells Fellowship support writers of color fighting racial injustice.

We can't wait to hear from you. Have tips, requests, ideas, signal boosts, rants and/or life questions? Send 'em here
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