The Problem With That Catcalling Video

Every Friday, we’re pulling together a Weekly Feminist Round-Up, a collection of the top sociopolitical news stories and creative justice-focused content from around the globe that you may have missed this week.

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1. The Problem With That Catcalling Video

That catcalling video that has been circulating the past few days has problematic aspects beyond street harassment: only black and Latino men are shown catcalling the white actress.

The creator of the video, Rob Bliss, insists that although white man did make derogatory comments, the footage was unusable for various reasons.

Regardless, we’re left with the same uncomfortable image of vulnerable white women being harassed by men of color, when really it’s a problem with men of all races towards all women.

Jessica Williams of The Daily Show did a much better job of illustrating the pervasiveness of street harassment in New York City – and unsurprisingly, plenty of white guys do it too!

2. America’s Pursuit of Unattainable Beauty

Lee Williams outlines just how much America continues to romanticize and even demand strict adherence to pursuing unrealistic standards of beauty, a phenomenon exemplified by the recent public outcry in reaction to Renée Zellweger’s allegedly altered appearance.

Williams also draws attention to the fact that the omnipresence of social media glorifies and rewards those who conform to traditional expectations of beauty and attractiveness. Such toxic messaging leads to an increased incidence of depression and eating disorders in girls and women.

Girls need to know that their self-esteem and self-worth don’t hinge on their external appearance. Rather than emphasizing youth and sexuality, our culture needs to start teaching women that they are worth more than their body image.

3. 5 Reasons the LGBT Community Should Not Sit Out This Election

Many people perceive midterm elections to be a snooze fest, but there are important issues at stake, especially for the queer community.

While it’s tempting to dust off our hands and say that progress has been achieved due to the increasing passage of marriage equality, such accomplishments don’t lessen or negate the urgency of addressing other issues, such as trans rights.

Some other incentives include pushing to finally pass employment antidiscrimination laws, as well as thanking Obama for being the first president to state that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage.

So many people around the world are disenfranchised by force – get out and vote on November 4th!

4. Millennials Think the American Dream is Unattainable — But We Can Change That

Regardless of how much you actually believe in the American Dream, things are looking bleak for millennials: last month the millennial unemployment rate rose to 13.7%.

Politicians often treat millennials like overgrown, technology addled children. They pander to us with social media and celebrities and emojis (yes, the White House actually released an economic explainer that made extensive use of emoticons, which were later removed).

However, such an approach seems to overlook the painfully apparent reality that many of us are adults now, and adults who are struggling to navigate a harsh economy. Politicians either need to change their tune or we need to change politicians.

5. The U.S. Government Will Recognize Same-Sex Marriage in Six New States

Some news to get excited about! Six new states now federally recognize same-sex marriages – Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming.

This means that couples will now be eligible to receive federal benefits, like Social Security and the option to file a joint tax return. Same-sex marriage is now recognized by the federal government in 32 states, as well as Washington DC.

6. “Men’s Rights” Group Tries To Lure Visitors Away From Anti–Domestic Violence Website

Men’s rights activists have plummeted to an all-time moral low. The group known as A Voice For Men has purchased a copycat domain of the Canadian anti-domestic violence movement, the White Ribbon Campaign.

The creators behind the imitation website attempt to minimize the impact of domestic violence on women – instead claiming that they are far more violent against men – and normalizing violence as a form of sexual foreplay.

Although men are also victims of domestic violence, belittling female survivors and insisting that they somehow deserved it or enjoyed it is not the way to go about achieving violence free equality.

7. Watch: Nigerian Victims of Boko Haram Abductions Tell Their Stories

Despite the global spotlight that #BringBackOurGirls has brought to the Boko Haram crisis, the Nigerian government continues to do little to protect the areas most vulnerable to abductions.

Women and girls who are taken are forced to marry, convert to Islam, and swear  that they will never attend school again. They endure rape as well as physical and psychological abuse.

Perhaps what’s most troubling is the scarcity of resources available to those women who do escape captivity. The women and girls of Nigeria have the right to go to school and live their daily lives without living in constant terror.

8. Janay Rice Speaks Out About Those Racist Domestic Violence Halloween Costumes

Unfortunately, Janay Rice continues to be humiliated at the hands of social media and the callousness of others.

Several idiot couples have decided to poke fun at her recent domestic violence situation by dressing up as Ray and a battered Janay Rice for Halloween, even donning blackface.

Besides the fact that these assholes are clearly racist and have zero integrity or compassion, domestic violence should never be treated as a humorous subject. Turning someone’s trauma into a silly costume for cheap giggles is revolting.

9. Why Doesn’t a Cop Go to Jail for Shooting Mentally Ill Man 14 Times?

Six months after fatally shooting a mentally ill black man, a white Milwaukee cop has been fired.

31-year-old Dontre Hamilton, who had schizophrenia, allegedly became agitated as Officer Christopher Manney attempted to perform a pat-down search on Hamilton. Hamilton seized Manney’s baton and struck him with it, prompting the officer to open fire.

Maria Hamilton, the victim’s mother, insists that Manney should go to jail for the murder. Dontre Hamilton had been off his medication for several months because his mother’s insurance no longer covered his care.

Erin Tatum is a Contributing Writer at Everyday Feminism. She’s a feminist, queer theory lover, and television enthusiast living in Pennsylvania. She is particularly interested in examining the representation of marginalized identities in media. In addition to Everyday Feminism, she’s also a weekly contributor to B*tch Flicks. Follow her on Twitter @ErinTatum91 and read her articles here.