The Internet is Exploding: 10 Must-Read Articles This Week

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The internet was a lot this week, and so was social media. In art world news, New York Art Week happened, but you should just check Instagram if you want to know what happened.

Highlights: The New York Times is paying homage through obituaries to women it overlooked, the work-life balance is harder for women of color, RuPaul is probably transphobic, people are talking about Paris Hilton again, Bill Maher and Bari Weiss are confused about being liberal, Alexas are randomly laughing, Johns Hopkins wants its own police force, and the Baltimore Beat closed.

1. New York Times: Overlooked

Whenever I have to say an interesting fact about myself for an icebreaker, it is always that my favorite section of the New York Times is the obituary section. I love peeking into someone’s life, and I always find interesting people to fangirl over from reading it. After all, “obituary writing is more about life than death.”

For International Women’s Day, the New York Times published obituaries of women that has overlooked. They will continue adding to Overlooked each week as it becomes part of the obituary section.

2. Slate: Rethinking Work-Life Balance for Women of Color

When visiting my parents in DC’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, I always find it interesting to watch the nannies, mostly women of color, taking the children, mostly white, to the neighborhood parks during the day. This article is not surprising at all for anyone that is the least bit aware of culture. Even if you are aware, you might not know the statistics, which are astounding. “
While the male-female pay gap has been slowing decreasing, the pay gap between white women and black women is the fastest growing income inequality there is, according to a report by the Economic Policy Institute. In 1979, black women earned only 6 percent less than white women. Today, black women earn 19 percent less than white women.” Damn.

We are in an interesting moment in this country of reckoning with racism and sexism, amongst a myriad of other “isms,” particularly related to identity. But we have yet to actually figure out how to deal with intersectional identities. White women are particularly good at bringing up intersectional feminism when it benefits them and forgetting it when it does not. I could go on a rant about this for a while…but here is my favorite article right now on white women being extra white.

3. The Telegraph: Spain grinds to a halt as millions of women join unprecedented strike for gender equality

On International Women’s Day, an estimated 5.3 million women walked out of work and went on strike to protest gender inequalities in the country. The slogan of the campaign was “Without us the world stops,” and it did. Women successfully disrupted transit in the major cities. The protest seemed to have worked thus far with the Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, addressing it by stating that he will “keep working in defense of real equality between men and women without sparing any effort” on Thursday. I hope something comes from this.

4. BuzzFeed: Queens Are Questioning RuPaul’s Grip On Drag Culture After His Controversial Trans Comments

RuPaul got himself into quite a bit of hot water this week when he made transphobic comments. In an interview with The Guardian RuPaul said that he probably would not let trans women who have begun physically transitioning compete on his show, RuPaul’s Drag Race, because “once you start changing your body, it takes on a different thing; it changes the whole concept of what we’re doing. We’ve had some girls who’ve had some injections in the face and maybe a little bit in the butt here and there, but they haven’t transitioned.” Wowzers!

For many, this did not come as a surprise. In the past trans slurs such as “tranny” or “she-male” have been used on his show. RuPaul did apologize but only after a lot of criticism… and, TBH, it didn’t seem that sincere or like he understood why people got upset.

5. BuzzFeed: How Paris Hilton Got Left Behind

Defs don’t agree with this title because Paris is always relevant in my heart. I also think this article does not have much foresight and is too interested in the past. Yes, Paris Hilton never shared as much of her “real” life with the public as the Kardashians have, but since Kim was robbed at gunpoint in Paris (the city) all of the Kardashians have taken a step away from sharing as much. For the past few months, Kim’s social media accounts have been predominantly used to push KKW Beauty, KKW Fragrance, and Kids Supply. Further, Kylie Jenner COMPLETELY dropped out of the public eye while she was pregnant, and never personally confirmed that she was until after she had her baby. The Kardashians are getting more private.

In general social media trends, it is now more popular than ever to have multiple Instagram accounts, a public one for anyone to see, and a private account for just friends. I have spoken to so many people that have also severely cut down on the number of social media accounts they have if they still have any at all. Privacy, or at least private publics, is becoming more popular.

6. Washington Post: A New York Times columnist blamed a far-left ‘mob’ for her woes. But maybe she deserves them.

New York Times columnist Bari Weiss has gotten herself into a lot of trouble. Weiss keeps saying things that are incorrect, or don’t make sense, and is now blaming the far-left for calling her out. A small sampling of things she has gotten into trouble for: claiming figure skater Mirai Nagasu is an immigrant when she was born in California, referencing a hoax site in an article without knowing it was a hoax site, and demanding that a freelance writer delete a tweet because it contained “fuck” then @ing publications the writer works for.  Look at her twitter account for a whole lot more.

ALSO!!!! Who is Bill Maher to say, “Why is there this fringe on the left that attacks people like you and me who they must know are not racist”? UMMMM…Bill, did you forget how you called yourself a “house n*gger”?!?!?! And then you had Ice Cube on your show to talk about it and ignored him the whole time?!?!?!?! That is why people call you racist.

7. The Guardian: The Wire, 10 years on: ‘We tore the cover off a city and showed the American dream was dead’

I am a horrible person and I always fall asleep when I try to watch The Wire. This article makes me what to give it another try. The final episode of The Wire aired 10 years ago, but with BPD corruption, and the state of America, the show maybe as relevant as ever. “The Wire deals with every element of society, from the lowest of the low to the highest of the high.”

8. Engadget: Alexa is randomly laughing, and it’s creepy as hell (updated)

Amazon’s Alexa is randomly laughing and it is just as weird as you would think. Amazon is aware of the problem and is working to fix it. I really hope they did not actually invent a sentient being. That would be too much.  

9. Facebook: Baltimore Beat

In a statement posted on Facebook, the Baltimore Beat announced it was closing immediately due to lack of funding. This is a tragic loose for the city. IDK what the Baltimore Sun is doing but it is not reporting news that people need to know.

10. Baltimore Sun: Johns Hopkins University pushing bill to create its own police force in Baltimore

LOL! Okay, so maybe the Sun actually does report a *few* good stories.

Johns Hopkins University wants to create a private police force. Baltimore already has so many problems with its police department. We do not need another one. Please sign the petition if you are against this. A private police force means it would patrol areas in and around any of Johns Hopkins’ properties, would not be accountable to community members, and would most likely increase profiling of black and brown students and Baltimoreans.

Honorable Mentions:

Al Jazeera: Israel passes law to strip residency of Jerusalem’s Palestinians

Israeli parliament ratified a law that allows the Israeli government to strip Palestinians living in Jerusalem of their permanent resident status for “breach of loyalty” to Israel. Palestinians that are born in, or reside in Jerusalem are granted “permanent residency” status and ID cards, but are not citizens of Israel and have Jordanian passports for travel.

The new bill is illegal under International Humanitarian Law. It was referred to as racist by Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, and, “By unethically stripping the residency of Palestinians from Jerusalem and depriving the rights of those Palestinians to remain in their own city.”

New York Times: West Virginia Teachers Give a Lesson in Union Power

At $45,622, West Virginia teachers earn 31% less than the national average, making them the 48th lowest earning in the nation. After months of tension over health insurance, salaries, and a loss of protections, the state’s public school teachers went on strike on Feb. 22. “Strikes as broad as the one in West Virginia are vanishingly rare. But when they do happen, they prove that our labor history is not that deeply buried. If workers are pushed hard enough, those ghosts will rise.” After almost two weeks of shuttered schools, the statewide strike ended on Tuesday when Gov. James C. Justice signed a bill to give teachers and other state employees a 5 percent pay raise. This is a huge win for teachers and a beacon for labor unions abroad in the dim light of failing politicians.

*All images taken from reference articles*

Have a suggestion for next week? Email with the subject line “The Internet is Exploding.”

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