Ayah, a wearer of the niqab, weeps as she is embraced by a police officer during a demonstration against the Danish face veil ban in Copenhagen. Photo: Andrew Kelly/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix
A photo of a police officer hugging an emotional niqab-wearing woman at a demonstration in Denmark on Wednesday has become one of the country’s most widely-shared images this week.
The demonstration in Copenhagen’s Nørrebro neighbourhood on Wednesday took place as a new law banning public wearing of face-covering garments including Islamic veils came into effect.
During the demonstration, a 37-year-old woman named Ayah became emotional and was consoled by a police officer.
The embrace was captured by Reuters photographer Andrew Kelly and the story has since become the most viewed article on newspaper Politiken’s website, the newspaper wrote on Thursday.
Social media users also shared the moment widely.
“This picture tells you everything about the fantastic land we want to protect together. These two women are everything I believe in. Not the niqab or the uniform. But love for each other when others want to turn us against each other,” Niddal El-Jabri wrote on Twitter.
The woman in the photograph told Reuters prior to the demonstration that the law would limit her personal freedom.
“This is not the Denmark that we know. I can’t go out when I want to…I have kids, how do I pick them up from the bus and the school and the train?”, Ayah, who is reported to have requested her full name not be published due to threats, said.
“It’s just absurd. I can’t do the things I love to do any more. I can’t go to the museum and the beach, can’t go out and take photos. I’m just going to be a prisoner in my home. But I prefer to be a prisoner in my home to taking off my niqab,” she added.
The 37-year-old also spoke to Politiken after the photo was published.
“It was a very difficult day. We were very insecure, and we didn’t know what to expect. It was overwhelming. And then this dialogue police officer, as I call her, approached us to ask if we were okay and to offer us a drink of water,” she told the Danish newspaper, which took the unusual step of reporting the story in English.
“I told her that everything was fine. And I thought it was great that 3,000 people could march together peacefully,” she added.
She also said the policewoman told her she was personally against the law banning face-covering garments.
“To be honest, I can’t remember the exact sequence of events. But I recall that I was talking to her. And then suddenly I was crying. It was weird, because she was just being nice and friendly. She told me that she was personally against this law, even though she is a police officer,” the 37-year-old said.
“I had mixed emotions. On the one hand, this woman is being really friendly, but she is also a person who is entitled to fine me tomorrow when I leave my house,” she continued.
“I’m not bothering anyone, and I wasn’t a criminal yesterday. I will continue to wear my niqab as I always have. And then I guess I will have to isolate myself even more in my apartment. I’m not a millionaire, you know, so I can’t afford to pay the fines,” she told Politiken.
The legitimate grievances of brown and black women are no match for the accusations of a white damsel in distress
By: Ruby Hamad: The Guardian Uk
That the voices of “women of color” are getting louder and more influential is a testament less to the accommodations made by the dominant white culture and more to their own grit in a society that implicitly – and sometimes explicitly – wants them to fail.
At the Sydney writers’ festival on Sunday, editor of Djed Press, Hella Ibrahim, relayed the final minutes of a panel on diversity featuring writers from the western Sydney Sweatshop collective. One of the panelists, Winnie Dunn, in answering a question about the harm caused by good intentions, had used the words “white people” and “shit” in the same sentence. This raised the ire of a self-identified white woman in the audience who interrogated the panelists as to “what they think they have to gain” by insulting people who “want to read their stories.”
In other words, the woman saw a personal attack where there wasn’t one and decided to remind the panellists that as a member of the white majority she ultimately has their fate in her hands.
“I walked out of that panel frustrated,” Ibrahim wrote. “Because yet again, a good convo was derailed, white people centred themselves, and a POC panel was told to police it’s [sic] tone to make their message palatable to a white audience.”
And then there is a type of trauma inflicted on women of color that many of us find among the hardest to disclose, the one that few seem willing to admit really happens because it is so thoroughly normalized most people refuse to see it.
It is what that writers’ festival audience member was demonstrating, and what blogger and author Luvvie Ajayi called the “weary weaponising of white women’s tears”.
To put it less poetically, it is the trauma caused by the tactic many white women employ to muster sympathy and avoid accountability, by turning the tables and accusing their accuser.
Almost every BW (black woman) I know has a story about a time in a professional setting in which she attempted to have a talk with a WW about her behavior & it has ended with the WW (white woman) crying,” one black woman wrote on Twitter. “The WW wasn’t crying because she felt sorry and was deeply remorseful. The WW was crying because she felt “bullied” and/or that the BW was being too harsh with her.”
When I shared these tweets on my Facebook page asking brown and black women if this had ever happened to them, I was taken by how deeply this resonated, prompting one Arab woman to share this story:
A WW kept touching my hair. Pulling my curls to watch them bounce back. Rubbing the top. Smelling it. So when I told her to stop and complained to HR and my supervisor, she complained that I wasn’t a people person or team member and I had to leave that position for being ‘threatening’ to a coworker.”
For the doubters, here is a mild version of this sleight-of-hand in action:
Notice it is the white woman – Jeanne Beker – who first interrupts the black woman – Jully Black – who takes the interruption in her stride. Black continues to speak passionately and confidently, which Beker interprets as a personal attack on her even though Black is clearly talking in general terms (just as Winnie Dunn was). Beker then attempts to shut Black down by essentially branding her a bully.
Had Jully Black not stopped and repeated Jeanne Beker’s words back at her – “Why are you attacking me?” – they would have passed largely unnoticed, just another woman of colour smeared as an aggressor for daring to continue speaking when a white woman wanted her to stop.
It doesn’t usually end this way. “White women tears are especially potent … because they are attached to the symbol of femininity,” Ajayi explains. “These tears are pouring out from the eyes of the one chosen to be the prototype of womanhood; the woman who has been painted as helpless against the whims of the world. The one who gets the most protection in a world that does a shitty job overall of cherishing women.”
As I look back over my adult life a pattern emerges. Often, when I have attempted to speak to or confront a white woman about something she has said or done that has impacted me adversely, I am met with tearful denials and indignant accusations that I am hurting her. My confidence diminished and second-guessing myself, I either flare up in frustration at not being heard (which only seems to prove her point) or I back down immediately, apologizing and consoling the very person causing me harm.
It is not weakness or guilt that compels me to capitulate. Rather, as I recently wrote, it is the manufactured reputation Arabs have for being threatening and aggressive that follows us everywhere. In a society that routinely places imaginary “wide-eyed, angry and Middle Eastern” people at the scenes of violent crimes they did not commit, having a legitimate grievance is no match for the strategic tears of a white damsel in distress whose innocence is taken for granted.
“We talk about toxic masculinity,” Ajayi warns, “but there is (also) toxicity in wielding femininity in this way.” Brown and black women know we are, as musician Miss Blanks writes, “imperfect victims”. That doesn’t mean we are always in the right but it does mean we know that against a white woman’s accusations, our perspectives will almost always go unheard either way.
Whether angry or calm, shouting or pleading, we are still perceived as the aggressors.
Likewise, white women are equally aware their race privileges them as surely as ours condemns us. In this context, their tearful displays are a form of emotional and psychological violence that reinforce the very system of white dominance that many white women claim to oppose.
Ruby Hamad is a journalist and PhD candidate at the University of New South Wales, Australia.
He said his column “That’s Life” in the Dixon Independent Voice on friday was “tongue in cheek. Ted Hickman, the vice mayor of Dixon, California (23 miles southwest of Sacramento), Declared July 1, was the start of Straight Pride Month.
In his column he writes “ We are different from them. We work, have families, (and babes we make) enjoy the love the company (and marriage) of the opposite sex and don’t flaunt our differences dressing up like faries and prancing by the thousands in a parade”
The Vice Mayor defended his column after several readers in this small city of twenty thousand. called the piece homophobic. He said his piece had nothing to do with his position and thin skinned people took offence to his column.
His position they. (LGBTQ) have their pride month why can’t we have ours?
This is not really legally anti anything; instead its a pro family ; and proud to be a straight American, and me expressing a private opinion, so there!
Last month, he wrote. ” I’m proud to be a heterosexual, monogamous, married to the opposite sex, straight individual that knows what goes where and why. AND that he has lesbian tendencies.
Eric Schneiderman, the Attorney General of the State of New York resigned today.
Schneiderman well known in the state, as a champion of women’s rights. The man who legal action against filmmaker Harvey Weinstein and one of the male faces of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment.
Four women, strangers, spoke to the The New Yorker Magazine. What they have in common is violence at the hand of Schneiderman. The Democrat was a strong critic of President Trump.
The allegations are shocking, and the Attorney General resigned three hours after the story was released.
Claire Foy and Matt Smith in “The Crown”(Credit: Netflix/Robert Viglasky)
Netflix’s ‘THE CROWN’ literally revolves around Claire Foy and she was paid less than Matt Smith, who played her husband
By: Erin Keane/Salon.com
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but women are angry. We are fed up; we have declared #TimesUp on the grabbing and the assaults and the demeaning comments and the gendered expectations in our workplaces. We are tired of being told we are worth less than our male co-workers, both explicitly and implicitly, and when we fail to rectify that through sheer will alone we are tired of being told we must not have wanted it badly enough. And when you’re already angry and fed up with pushing this boulder up a mountain every day with no summit in sight, one small bit of news can feel like enough to make you want to turn around and hurl the rock as hard as you can down the mountain, devastation in your wake be damned.
According to Variety, the producers of “The Crown,” speaking on a panel in Jerusalem earlier this week, admitted that Claire Foy, star of two seasons of the Netflix historic drama and winner of a Golden Globe for her spot-on and humanizing portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II, was paid less than her co-star Matt Smith, who plays Prince Philip.
Foy plays the title role — the Queen is both a person and the office, which hits at the heart of her character’s conflicts — and yet Smith, because he came into negotiations with a higher profile as a former “Doctor Who” star, pulled in the higher salary.
Asked whether Foy was paid the same as Smith, the producers acknowledged that he did make more due to his “Doctor Who” fame, but that they would rectify that for the future. “Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen,” said Mackie.
Oh, good — except Foy and Smith won’t be around to enjoy their equal financial footing in the workplace. The series is jumping ahead in time for season three, replacing the principal cast members with older versions of the royals. Never mind that Netflix wouldn’t have a successful show to time-hop ahead in without Foy’s cutting precision and her brilliant command of her character, which manages to evoke Elizabeth’s stiff persona without ever veering into cheap parody, and while adding layers of subtle emotional texture and intellectual dimension. Smith did fine work as Prince Philip, but the show isn’t called “The Consort Crown,” nor should it have been. Smith’s role was always secondary to Foy’s, and even in his most brilliant scenes, she remains at the center — the very heart — of the production.
Haven’t webeen here already? How loudly do we have to ring the shame bell at producers before they stop underpaying their female talent?
The pushback I am seeing — even among men who agree that the gender pay gap is bad — is that of course Smith could command a higher salary. That’s just how it works! He did four years as the Doctor on “Doctor Who,” after all, between David Tennant and Peter Capaldi, which is a big deal to a certain slice of TV fandom. Foy’s been no slouch herself — before “The Crown” she played Anne Boleyn on the highly-acclaimed, and Golden Globe-winning, limited series adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s “Wolf Hall,” for one — but yes, if you want to pit two names against each other in the salary negotiation game, Smith came in with a bigger stick. Never mind that Foy herself had no shot at that coveted Doctor spot until now — Jodie Whittaker is the first female Doctor in “Who” history, and she had to fight to get paid the same as her male predecessors. Yes, they were going to pay a female Doctor less. Is anyone surprised?
Women also don’t advocate for themselves, or their agents don’t, is one lame excuse I am tired of hearing. When Jennifer Lawrence penned her blistering takedown of the gender pay gap in Hollywood two and a half years ago, she wrote about learning that her male co-stars made more than her through data revealed in the Sony hack, not through any kind of transparency in the workplace.
A major corporation has to be digitally infiltrated and have all of its sensitive information stolen and exposed to the world — that’s what it can take for women to even know they are being paid less in the first place.
When Lawrence wrote about confronting her gender pay gap, she blamed herself. “I didn’t want to seem ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled,’” she wrote. Can you imagine a world in which women who insist on their own worth don’t have to overcome unspoken, often invisible sexist assumptions first? I’ll wait.Foy’s not the first woman who’s seen a show take off on the strength of her performance and underpay her for it.
“Grey’s Anatomy” star Ellen Pompeo explained in detail how hard she had to work to get paid what she is worth to the show that also bears her character’s name:
For me, Patrick [Dempsey] leaving the show [in 2015] was a defining moment, deal-wise. They could always use him as leverage against me — “We don’t need you; we have Patrick” — which they did for years. I don’t know if they also did that to him, because he and I never discussed our deals. There were many times where I reached out about joining together to negotiate, but he was never interested in that. At one point, I asked for $5,000 more than him just on principle, because the show is Grey’s Anatomy and I’m Meredith Grey. They wouldn’t give it to me. And I could have walked away, so why didn’t I? It’s my show; I’m the number one. I’m sure I felt what a lot of these other actresses feel: Why should I walk away from a great part because of a guy? You feel conflicted but then you figure, “I’m not going to let a guy drive me out of my own house.”
Pompeo is the highest-paid actress on TV now, but she had to fight for it, despite the fact that the show that actually does revolve around her is a long-running success. What would happen if producers set their salary baselines at what they were willing to pay the women at the top of the cast? Did Matt Smith’s “Doctor Who” fame make “The Crown” a success? No. What’s even more insulting is that “The Crown,” like “Grey’s Anatomy,” is a show that female fans have championed. Shouldn’t the women who make these shows come alive for us get the biggest reward? It’s too late for Foy on “The Crown,” which is a shame, though it sounds like the women coming after her will be treated fairly. Here’s hoping Foy’s next workplace won’t need to be shamed into compliance, too.
Solving the gender pay gap
How should a company address unequal pay? For former Netflix CTO and author Patty McCord the answer is easy: give women a raise. McCord joined Salon’s Alison Stewart on “Salon Talks” to discuss her new book “Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility,” which highlights guiding principles for building a high-performing workplace culture. Distilling lessons from her 14 years as Netflix’s chief talent officer, McCord offers business advice, including how to level wage inequality and build a more inclusive company culture, especially amidst the #MeToo movement. “Write some checks,” McCord responded when asked about how to address the wage inequality. In the end, the numbers will balance out, she says. Many male leaders don’t want to have the conversation because that would mean admitting weakness. McCord shared this story. “I had one CEO tell me one time that ‘Oh I couldn’t do that my lawyers wouldn’t like it.’ And I’m like ‘why who’s gonna sue you because you gave them a raise?’ And he goes, ‘Well they’d know I was wrong.’” Watch the video above to hear McCord’s analysis on why the gender pay gay remains one of the biggest issues facing human resources departments.
The case of a relative handslap for a repugnant act by a former student illustrates how white privilege can work
By: Blue Telusma/ The Grio
This week 18-year-old Brianna Brochu learned white privilege has it’s perks, particularly when it comes to the criminal justice system.
Monday, the former University of Hartford student — who was notoriously accused of harassing her Black roommate by smearing bodily fluids on the girl’s backpack and tampering with other items – received a special form of probation that could allow her to avoid a criminal record.
Her former roommate, Chennel “Jazzy” Rowe, attended Brochu’s hearing in Superior Court in Hartford and told Judge Omar Williams that she did not oppose Brochu’s request for accelerated rehabilitation. Brochu will have to perform 200 hours of community service — including 50 at a literacy organization in Greater Hartford and 50 at a social services group. If she completes those requirements and stays out of trouble, the charges of breach of peace and criminal mischief will be dismissed after two years.
Minority voters are watching how conservatives treat my old boss, the former RNC Chair.
By: Doug Heye-Daily Beast
The news that former RNC Chairman Michael Steele was criticized on the stage of the Conservative Political Action Committee should not have been a surprise. For 15 years, Steele has had his race used against him, with the bipartisan critics and the media often amplifying the notion that he has to be kept in his “place.”
I know first hand, having worked on Michael Steele’s 2006 Senate race and at the Republican National Committee while Steele was chairman. But while I had come to expect it from his liberal opponents, I’m distressed to see the “conservative” movement echo these lines.
It began back in the 2002 Maryland Gubernatorial race, when Steele was candidate for lieutenant governor. The liberal editorial page of the Baltimore Sun questioned Steele’s credentials, saying he brought “little to the team but the color of his skin.” Four years later, the Sun was at it again, patronizingly terming Steele a “likable man and persuasive speaker” – articulate and clean, anyone?
Steny Hoyer, the House Minority Whip has called Steele “slavish”—for which he had to apologize— while Maryland State Senate President Mike Miller called Steele “Uncle Tom.” The Democratic National Committee, in a 37-page memo by Cornell Belcher sought to “turn Steele into a typical Republican candidate — as opposed to an African-American.”
When Steele ran, successfully, for RNC chair in 2009, the dirt continued to be thrown at him. In 2009, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough declared that “Republicans are learning right now, that sometimes being black isn’t enough. They thought ‘we’re going to get a black guy to run our party.’”
Always outspoken, but also a former seminarian, Steele handled this with a characteristic mix of class and combativeness. But even as he was able to deal the slings and arrows coming his way, the comments raised serious questions about how much of the political universe views race.
With the communications director of CPAC declaring, from the stage this past week, that Steele was elected as RNC chair “because he’s a black guy,” it raises even more serious questions about how Trumpian tribalism has quickly become the rule of law within a large segment of the GOP.
This is terrible for our party.
While Republicans may see speaking to minority audiences as a low priority, they should realize that minorities are closely watching them. For African-Americans to see the man who is likely the most prominent African-American Republican on the airwaves, treated this way, is another sign of a Republican Party that is not interested in winning their votes. CPAC is an event I used to attend nearly annually but have not in several years. Over time, the conference has taken more and more of a tribal posture, seeking to cast out what it decides are “bad” conservatives in favor of “good” conservatives with a roster slouching towards the extreme. Last year it was Milo Yiannopoulos, who was ultimate disinvited from CPAC after sponsors balked. This year, it was Marion Le Pen of France’s National Front, whose politics are so controversial in her home country that French rocker Johnny Hallyday had the family banned from the funeral. Unlike Yiannopoulos, Le Pen was not disinvited. Instead, she was welcomed as a hero, if not the conquering one.
Of course, CPAC’s conquering hero is clearly Donald Trump. Just two years after canceling his 2016 speech under the threat of a walk out, Trump has become the belle of the ball, fully in control of an adoring audience all too happy to boo Senator John McCain and other Republicans who don’t sufficiently grovel to him.
Does anyone honestly believe that these comments would have been said about Steele had he been a Trump acolytes instead of a detractor? The obvious and honest answer is no. That may be fine if Trump is enjoying high popularity. But he is not. He is in a politically tenuous position—with low popularity ratings and an ever-encroaching Russia investigation—not the position of power.
All of which puts the GOP in precisely the position many believed the party was heading the day before Trump’s surprise election. It also means that whenever Trump is no longer president, the GOP will still be divided, with limited desire or effort to appeal to minorities, and no road map forward.
They will need—and should want—people like Michael Steele to help move beyond these kinds of moments and re-find their way.