Central Park Women's Suffrage Monument Redesigned to Include Sojourner Truth

Central ParkWomen's History  Monument.jpg

For nearly a year, the proposed Central Park statue honoring women’s suffrage in America has been plagued in controversy. It’s difficult to believe that in 2019, planners of the monument could be so tone-deaf to the race-related arguments swirling around America’s women’s rights history.

The Women’s March 2017, organized by a group of women who refused to honor legendary women’s rights Hillary Clinton, after her defeat by Donald Trump. signaled a new day for setting the record straight — the truth and also new lies and distortions — about the history of American feminism.

The original design by sculptor Meredith Bergmann visually elevated two prominent white women — Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton — over a scrolling list of 22 other women, seven of them women of color. AOC disagrees with the complaint that Anthony and Stanton were metaphorically “standing’ on the other women.” But they certainly look like boss ladies at a time when younger people are rejecting hierarchy and white superiority, along with a nonexistent recognition of the contributions of people of color — and slaves specifically — in building America.

For context, there is NO statue of any nonfictional female of any skin color in Central Park and around New York, writes the New York Times. The park currently features no historical women but statues of fictional girls like Alice from Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and Juliet from William Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet.’

While a new visual of the proposed statue to be erected on Central Park’s Literary Walk by 2020 is not available, it’s a miracle that the proposed design was aborted at all. Women including Gloria Steinem helped turn back the design against the nearly insurmountable rules and regulations that defined its artistic creation initially and the legitimate controversy that ensued.

“Our goal has always been to honor the diverse women in history who fought for equality and justice and who dedicated their lives to fight for Women’s Rights,” Pam Elam said in a statement. The president of the Monumental Women’s Statue Fund, the group financing the sculpture, added: “It is fitting that Anthony, Stanton, and Truth stand together in this statue as they often did in life.” via Hyperallergic.

Angelina Jolie Covers Harper's Bazaar US September 2019 and the Subject Is Witches

Angelina Jolie Covers Harper's Bazaar US September 2019 and the Subject Is Witches

Wonder woman Angelina Jolie follows in the steps of Beyonce’s essay in the September 2019 issue of Vogue, choosing to set her own narrative. Given the generally low quality of women’s magazines’ interview questions — I agree they have made progress — the haters should stop clutching their pearls around journalistic integrity and come up to Angelina’s level.

AIPAC Leads Other Jewish Groups, Lawmakers Condemning Israel Banning Tlaib + Omar

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, said Reps. Rashida Tlaib, center, and Ilhan Omar, right, provided an itinerary that "revealed that they planned a visit whose sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel’s legitimacy.”  (Laura E. Adkins for JTA/Getty Images)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, said Reps. Rashida Tlaib, center, and Ilhan Omar, right, provided an itinerary that "revealed that they planned a visit whose sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel’s legitimacy.” (Laura E. Adkins for JTA/Getty Images)

Loud voices — both Democrats and Republicans — living in America and in Israel expressed condemnation and in some cases outrage over Israel’s decision on Thursdayto ban Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from entering Israel and the Palestinian territories this weekend.

Prominent pro-Israel group AIPAC was joined by other establishment Jewish groups to criticize Omar and Tlaib’s support for the movement to boycott Israel. But like others who have their differences with the two House reps, AIPAC said that Israel should nonetheless allow sitting members of the United States Congress to enter the country and see it for themselves, writes JTA ( Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

“We disagree with Reps. Omar and Tlaib’s support for the anti-Israel and anti-peace BDS movement, along with Rep. Tlaib’s calls for a one-state solution,” the organization tweeted, referring to the boycott Israel movement. “We also believe every member of Congress should be able to visit and experience our democratic ally Israel firsthand.”

Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer, had previously said Israel would not bar any members of Congress. But it appears that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flip-flopped minutes after President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that Israel “would show great weakness” if it let in the two congresswomen.

Tlaib, D-Mich, and Omar, D-Minn., are supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel. Under Israeli law, BDS supporters can be prevented from entering the country. They have also at times invoked what critics call anti-Semitic tropes in criticizing the Jewish state.

The New York Times breaks down the specifics of the two-year-old Israeli law used to bar Tlaib aned Omar.

JTA shares specifics on individuals and groups supporting Netanyahu’s decision and those opposing it, as well as newly posted Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren criticize Israel’s decision to bar Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib

U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo’s New Poetry Collection Brings Native Issues to the Forefront

U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo’s New Poetry Collection Brings Native Issues to the Forefront

Seeing Joy Harjo perform live is a transformational experience. The internationally acclaimed performer and poet of the Muscogee (Mvskoke)/Creek nation transports you by word and by sound into a womb-like environment, echoing a traditional healing ritual. The golden notes of Harjo’s alto saxophone fill the dark corners of a drab university auditorium as the audience breathes in her music.

Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Harjo grew up in a home dominated by her violent white stepfather. She first expressed herself through painting before burying herself in books, art and theater as a means of survival; she was kicked out of the home at age 16. Although she never lived on a reservation nor learned her tribal language, at age 19 she officially enrolled in the Muscogee tribe and remains active today. Though she has mixed ancestry, including Muscogee, Cherokee, Irish and French nationalities, Harjo most closely identifies with her Native American ancestry. On June 19, the Library of Congress named her the United States Poet Laureate, the first Native American to hold that position; she’ll officially take on the role next month.

David Chang, Prabal Gurung, Dana Lorenz Challenge Us To Fight Trump's Moneybags Man Stephen Ross

David Chang, Parbal Gurung, Dana Lorenz Challenge Us To Fight Trump's Moneybags Man Stephen Ross

David Chang’s Majordomo Los Angeles restaurant donated all of its profits last Friday to Planned Parenthood, RAICES Texas, Everytown and Sierra Club. The action came in response to Majordomo investor Stephen Ross’ splashy but controversial Southampton, Long Island fundraiser

Those same charities and the Serge Ibaka Foundation also will receive money from Chang’s Momofuku Noodle Bar, confirmed in a Monday August 12 email. . It was unclear whether other Momofuku restaurants participated and how much was donated, writes the Los Angeles Times about the Chang action in response to the investor Stephen Ross-Trump reelection controversy. Ross is the chairman of RSE Ventures, a private investment firm that is one of the backers of Chang’s restaurant group.

On a side note, Milk Bar is a chain of dessert and bakery restaurants owned by founding chef Christina Tosi and the Manhattan-based Momofuku restaurant group, also associated with Karlie Kloss’ Kookies

In an expletive-laced podcast episode from last week, in which David Chang begged Ross to call off his fundraiser, the chef put his Trump cards on the table.

“I personally am a staunch opponent to President Trump and everything he stands for,” he said on “The Dave Chang Show.” “Anyone that normalizes gun violence, white supremacy, putting kids into cages, his general lack of decency and respect for anyone else. He is destroying our democratic norms.”

Chang said he understood that the business relationship “raises a lot of questions for the people who dine at our restaurants and supported us over the years.”

Over 100 Top Models + Time's Up Join Model Alliance In Open Letter to Victoria's Secret

victorias-secret-#Time4RESPECT.jpg

On Tuesday morning, over 100 models, including Christy Turlington Burns, Edie Campbell, Karen Elson, Milla Jovovich, Doutzen Kroes, and Gemma Ward, signed an open letter addressed directly to Victoria’s Secret. The letter petitioned the lingerie brand to take concrete actions in protecting models against sexual misconduct.

The letter was properly addressed to Victoria’s Secret’s CEO John Mehas and it pulled no punches:

We are writing today to express our concern for the safety and wellbeing of the models and young women who aspire to model for Victoria’s Secret. In the past few weeks, we have heard numerous allegations of sexual assault, alleged rape, and sex trafficking of models and aspiring models. While these allegations may not have been aimed at Victoria's Secret directly, it is clear that your company has a crucial role to play in remedying the situation. From the headlines about L Brands CEO Leslie Wexner’s close friend and associate, Jeffrey Epstein, to the allegations of sexual misconduct by photographers Timur Emek, David Bellemere, and Greg Kadel, it is deeply disturbing that these men appear to have leveraged their working relationships with Victoria’s Secret to lure and abuse vulnerable girls.

L Brands CEO Les Wexner (l) and former CMO Ed Razek (r) in happier times.

L Brands CEO Les Wexner (l) and former CMO Ed Razek (r) in happier times.

The letter then proceeds to invite Victoria’s Secret to join the RESPECT Program —a program of the Model Alliance—is the only existing anti-sexual harassment program designed by and for models.

Signatory companies make a binding commitment to require their employees, agents, vendors, photographers and other contractors to follow a code of conduct that protects everyone’s safety on the job, and reduces models’ vulnerability to mistreatment. Models have access to an independent, confidential complaint mechanism, with swift and fair resolution of complaints and appropriate consequences for abusers. Further, RESPECT includes a robust training program aimed toward prevention, to ensure that everyone understands their rights and responsibilities.

“Corporations tend to treat the discovery of abuses as public-relations crises to be managed rather than human-rights violations to be remedied,” says Sara Ziff, the founder and executive director of the Model Alliance. “The RESPECT Program provides Victoria’s Secret an opportunity not only to right the wrongs of the past but also to work towards prevention.”

Ziff recently penned an essay for the Cut detailing her own encounter with Epstein as a young model. She highlighted just how long an imbalance of power and lack of protections have “plagued” the industry. She wrote: “Now, we need the support of agencies, publishing companies, and fashion brands who want to do better by the talent who they purport to protect.”

In November, the Model Alliance issued a statement following disgraced L Brands Chief Marketing Officer Ed Razek’s infamous Vogue interview in advance of Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Razek retired from Victoria’s Secret on Monday.