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Welcome back to Byte Me, our feminist newsletter that makes everyone mad <3
Some updates from us: Anouk is on a family holiday into the wild Dutch wilderness, Cara got her IUD fixed, and Georgina is going camping, and while she wants to be a cool “camping” kind of girl, she’s just not sure she is.
Each month, our gloriously gifted designer, Saïna, illustrates a weird comment or tweet we receive from one of TNW’s misogynistic, or just funny, readers. This month’s comes from a whole bunch of whiny men who stumbled across our Facebook page:
Ugh We’RE So sORrY we tainted science with our dumb wiener jokes. Here’s an illustration, to make up for it:
[Also read our previous issue: Byte Me #17: LGBTQ+ rights in Georgia, straight allyship, and Twitch predators]
the bloody news
Women have been posting flattering black-and-white selfies for the #ChallengeAccepted challenge. Confused? Yeah, us too. The Cut published an explainer on what the challenge is really about.
- Teen Vogue published a story on how social justice movements still leave black women — like Megan Thee Stallion, who was shot earlier this month — behind.
- Male doctors got finstas to spy on their colleagues for a sexist study on “inappropriate” behavior… *looks to camera*Now female doctors are posting bikini pics in response. (Daily Dot)
- Vice reported Indian women are being sexually assault while in COVID-19 quarantine facilities.
Diane Abbott wrote about the death of Paulette Wilson in The Guardian, and how we can honor her life with real change.
Paulette Wilson has died. She moved to the UK from Jamaica in 1968, but was stripped of her rights by the home office and left destitute as the Windrush scandal unfolded. While awaiting compensation, Paulette selflessly campaigned for justice for others. RIP Queen 👑 pic.twitter.com/P48853CG2a
— Nadine White (@Nadine_Writes) July 23, 2020
- After a Republican lawmaker called Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a “fucking bitch,” NYT reported on how she took to the House floor to denounce the abuse faced by women in Congress, and across the nation.Emma Gray wrote about why “lazy man insults” matter. (HuffPost)
- Mel Magazine wrote about why online abortion is the next frontier in times of COVID-19.
We loved IndieWire’s profile of Mya Taylor. Taylor had her breakout role in the very, very excellent 2015 film Tangerine, a story of two transgender sex workers shot entirely on an iPhone.
- NYT’s In Her Words newsletter features an interview with Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright this week.
A good (shit) thread:
Ladies, what is the most innocuous thing you’ve done that made some guy call you a f*cking b*tch?
— Liz Plank (@feministabulous) July 21, 2020
- Beyoncé dropped the video for “ALREADY” and it’s as perfect and amazing as you’d expect.
Harper’s Bazaar interviewed Sharmadean Reid on how she’s planning to revolutionize the beauty industry in a post-pandemic world.P.S. Gigi interviewed Reid back in 2018 — you can read it here.
- “When I came out, I didn’t know any other gay teens. Naya Rivera’s character on ‘Glee’ showed me I wasn’t alone.” A beautiful tribute to the late Naya Rivera on The Lily.
- The Emmy Nominations were recently announced, and a record-breaking 34.3% of the acting nominees are Black actors. (Variety)
- The Cut published an excerpt of This Is All I Got, a new book documenting a day in the life of a homeless mother.
- We’re big fans of Jessie Ware’s Table Manners podcast, and this episode with model and trans activist Munroe Bergdorf is excellent.
The late Breonna Taylor will be the cover star of the September issue of Oprah Magazine. This is the first time in the magazine’s 20-year run that Oprah will not grace the cover herself.
View this post on Instagram
For the first time in 20 years, @oprah has given up her O Magazine cover to honor Breonna Taylor. She says, “Breonna Taylor. She was just like you. And like everyone who dies unexpectedly, she had plans. Plans for a future filled with responsibility and work and friends and laughter. Imagine if three unidentified men burst into your home while you were sleeping. And your partner fired a gun to protect you. And then mayhem. What I know for sure: We can’t be silent. We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice. And that is why Breonna Taylor is on the cover of O magazine. I cry for justice in her name.” Tap the link in our bio to read more about Oprah’s tribute to Breonna—and her recent conversation with her mother, Tamika Palmer. Breonna: This one’s for you 🙏🏽 The September issue will be available wherever you buy or download your magazines on 8/11. (🎨: @alexis_art)
that’s what she said: are sexist jokes ok?
Because we’re all magical and unique snowflakes who don’t always agree on feminist issues — and subsequently feel like we’re “bad” women — we’re going to discuss something we found online in each newsletter.
For this month’s that’s what she said, we’re discussing how we should remember problematic people. We’ve linked to our full discussion here, and included the TL;DR below:
Georgina: Alright so, the three of us are funny ladies… we can be very edgy with our humor, which isn’t always to everyone else’s taste lol.
Anouk: I don’t even perceive them as sexist.
Georgina: Have either of you ever been in a situation where someone has made a sexist joke that you didn’t like?
Anouk: There are just so many “sexist” topics that I just can’t give AF about, like menstruation stuff. If a man jokes about that, I couldn’t care less.
Georgina: There’s definitely been a few times where a guy friend has jokingly asked me if i’m on my period while we’re in a debate, and that pissed me off.
Cara: It really depends on who is saying the ‘joke’ though because it’s one thing if your brother or male friend says it versus your male boss.
You can check out the full conversation here, which discusses power, flirty jokes at work, and #MeToo.
Feel free to comment on the document with your thoughts, or send us an email!
the best and the worst
In this section, we ask women much smarter than us about the best and worst piece of professional advice they’ve ever received. This month we asked Evan Greer, a transgender activist, musician, and writer based in Boston. She’s the Campaign Director of Fight for the Future, a nonprofit advocacy group promoting causes related to copyright legislation, as well as online privacy and censorship through the use of the internet.
“Drop out of college and become a folksinger.”
“We’ve got a great summer job opportunity for you selling fancy knives to your parent’s friends.”
Read Evan Greer’s full AMA here.
tweets of the month
Sorry I missed your call. Women on Instagram started posting their most flattering selfies in black and white and calling it an “empowerment challenge” and I threw my phone into the sea.
— Bess Kalb (@bessbell) July 27, 2020
police departments be on here like “One of our bloodied and Brave officers nearly died tonight from a titty twister”
— giabuchi lastrassi (@jaboukie) July 29, 2020
“Yeah so everyone thinks he can end world hunger but what they don’t understand is that his wealth isn’t actually in his bank account it’s in his assets and shares” pic.twitter.com/lhvHZlYc6N
— Has Jeff Bezos Decided To End World Hunger? (@HasBezosDecided) July 23, 2020
Next time someone asks me who my favorite comedians are I’m just going to say Republicans
— Sarah Cooper (@sarahcpr) July 25, 2020
society has progressed past the need for dudes in bands
— traitor joe (@phoebe_bridgers) July 21, 2020
word of the month: WitchTok
Next up in our new and improved Dicktionary (sorry):
What do you get when you mix an ancient occult practice with 2020’s teen angst? Strap in, it’s time to explain WitchTok.
Last week, you may have seen headlines about “baby witches hexing the moon.” To explain what that means, we need to start with where this story originated: on WitchTok.
While teen app TikTok became popular for its lip-syncing and dance videos, today it’s the go-to platform for a whole variety of niche subcultures — witchcraft being one of them. The #WitchTok section of the platform currently has 2.3 billion views and mainly covers tips for self-care and spirituality.
But the “baby witches,” as they call themselves, also focus on very current and earthly events. Recently, #WitchesforBLM got a lot of traction from witches aiming to fight racism through various cast protection spells. One of them, Mycah Westhoff, even offered her 38,000 followers tarot card readings in exchange for donations to BLM organizations.
So what about that moon story? Apparently, a bunch of baby witches went rogue and decided to hex the moon, meaning they tried to curse it. This didn’t sit well with other, more experienced witches.
Because, well, you just don’t fuck with nature or disrespect the ancient Gods who control the moon. We can end this story on a positive note, because there seems to be a consensus that the moon can’t be hexed anyway — it’s simply too powerful.
How to use in a sentence:
“Look, I’m not trying to police anyone’s craft or connection with their deities,” Zandra sighed, “but sometimes I worry WitchTok is making us all look bad.”
“Given the derogatory way in which ‘baby witch’ is being used since the WitchTok hexing controversy, I think it’s time we come up with a new way to label ourselves,” Dayonis told her coven.
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