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Poliwood Round-Up: Here are this week’s 5 hot topics trending from Hollywood to Poliwood!
FIVE: The Passing of Another Liberal Giant: This week we lost a true crusader for justice, NJ Senator Frank Lautenberg. Throughout his over 30 year career in the senate Senator Lautenberg was a champion for progressive values and a better America. One of his best quotes was this: “One thing I’ve learned in my time in politics is that if one of the parties is shameless, the other party cannot afford to be spineless.” Some of his notable achievements: writing the law the bill to end smoking on planes, funding for comprehensive sex education, law to increase fuel efficiencies of cars just to name a few. His presence will be sorely missed. http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2013/06/03/2091291/remembering-frank-lautenbergs-progressive-legacy/
FOUR: Redefining Sisterhood: This week found fabulous women joining forces to advance the cause for equality for women and girls. First up Beyoncé, actress and producer Salma Hayek-Pinault and Gucci’s creative director Frida Gianni teamed up for a new initiative, Chime for Change aimed at empowering women and girls around the world focusing on the areas of education, health and justice. The dynamic trio launched the initiative with a star-studded concert in London featuring Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna and Beyoncé. Also teaming up for women were Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and her Off The Sidelines project and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg for an online discussion on how women can lean into participating in politics and taking control over their futures.
THREE: The Rebirth of Black Cinema: If like us you are tired of Tyler Perry’s trite films about monolithic black culture we have good news. After years of complaint and criticism there 10 new black films slated for theaters in 2013. According to the New York Times: “Black filmmakers say the wave of 2013 releases was built in large part on the creativity that has flourished on the independent-film circuit, which has become a laboratory of sorts for more prominent African-American-themed productions. Writers and directors have been sharpening their skills on indie films the last several years while waiting for big distributors to regain interest”. We for one have our popcorn in hand, ready to be wowed! http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/02/movies/coming-soon-a-breakout-for-black-filmmakers.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0
TWO: Mrs. O Puts the Smack Down: At a Democratic fundraiser held at a home in D.C. First Lady Michelle Obama was 12 minutes into her 20-minute speech when a heckler in the front row interrupted her speech asking for her husband the President to sign an Executive Order to provide LGBT federal employees with full protection under the law. It is reported that the First Lady left her lectern to approach the heckler and said, “One of the things I don’t do well is this.” Then the First lady went on to say, “You can listen to me or take the mic, but I’m leaving”. She then turned to the crowd and said, “you all decide. You have one choice”. After which the crowd cheered and the heckler was escorted out. Now, we are all for LGBT equality but there is a time and a place for everything…and during a speech by the FLOTUS ain’t one of those time.
ONE: Militarized Rape Culture: Military sexual assault is a growing problem, with reports up 35% between 2010 and 2012 and this week the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on the issue–but get this there were no invitations to testify extended to victims of sexual assault. Are you having deja’vu? Yeah, us too! Essentially the hearing consisted of 20 high-ranking white military men (18 of whom were against the proposed legislation) testifying to the fact that the military doesn’t need outside investigations into sexual assault and they have everything under control. Really? This is also a committee with seven women sitting on it. Only some of those women aggressively pursued the issue of military sexual assault during the hearing; Senator Gillibrand in particular was a bit of a firebrand. (Best Gillibrand smack down: “…not every commander can distinguish between a slap on the ass and a rape.”) This hearing like the one infamously held on abortion rights in the house was an embarrassment to our justice system. We need to do better! If you believe that our military men and women should be protected from sexual assault and have an adequate system to pursue justice contact your Congressman and demand better. When we speak with one, clear, loud voice they listen! http://www.xojane.com/issues/military-sexual-assault-survivors-not-invited-to-sexual-assault-hearing