Catholic Hierarchy Makes Seemingly Little Progress On Enhancing Role Of Women

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In 2007, Lucetta Scaraffia became the first female contributor to the Vatican’s daily newspaper ‘L’Osservatore Romano’. Soon she proposed the creation of a publication dedicated to women, an approved by Pope Benedict XVI.

“There are so many more women working within the church than there are men, doing interesting and intelligent things, but nobody knows about it,” Scaraffia says. “The magazine set out to give a voice to these women.”

Scaraffia didn’t disappoint — depending on one’s expectations. Early on she began to call out misogyny in the church. In March 2018, she produced an article exposing the servitude of nuns who work “for a pittance to cook and clean for clerics.”

“This created so much embarrassment and hostility in the Catholic hierarchy as the priests thought it was their right to have an unpaid nun serving them. They believe that women become nuns to serve them; it’s a mistaken belief but is very much rooted within the church,” says Scaraffia in a hard-hitting story by The Guardian. “Women become nuns because they have a vocation and want to help those who are suffering or fragile, not to serve priests.”

Scaraffia’s position as editor of ‘Women Church World’ hit the wall on March 26, 2019 when she sent a letter to Pope Francis, telling him “We are throwing in the towel.” After exposing the shocking sexual abuse of nuns and secret abortions paid for by priests, Scaraffia was done. Note, that the editor/professor also has many grievances against feminism, so listen to her and don’t make assumptions about her point of view on women. Scaraffia said that her 11-strong editorial team felt “surrounded by an atmosphere of distrust and progressive delegitimisation.” Church elders were attempting to gag them, she claimed. “A vital initiative has been reduced to silence and there has been a return to the antiquated and arid custom of choosing women considered trustworthy from on high, under the direct control of men.”

Scaraffia told the AP that the decision was taken after the new editor of L'Osservatore, Andrea Monda, told her earlier this year he would take over as editor. She said he reconsidered after the editorial board threatened to resign and the Catholic weeklies that distribute translations of "Women Church World" in France, Spain and Latin America, told her they would stop distributing.

"After the attempts to put us under control, came the indirect attempts to delegitimze us," she said, citing other women brought in to write for L'Osservatore "with an editorial line opposed to ours."

This story has a strong odor of the 2012 Vatican’s investigation into progressive American nuns. Factually speaking, on the subject of the Catholic Church and women, some things never change. Hope springs eternal, but patriarchal reality always smacks women in the face.

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Halima Aden Makes History As First Hijab + Burkini Wearing Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model

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AOC has followed and really promoted hijab-wearing model Halima Aden from her first arrival as a model. Aden also hails from Ilhan Omar's Mpls, Mn. 5th District. Halima has enjoyed tremendous support from none other than Carine Roitfeld herself, and she is just a total goddess and humanitarian. BTW, Halima won the Miss Minnesota USA beauty pageant wearing a hijab.

In her latest groundbreaking event, Halima Aden is a rookie in the new Sports Illustrated 2019 Swimwear issue, staying true to her commitment to wear a hijab or glam headress in all her fashion shoots and in the case of swimwear, to don a burkini.

Halima returned to Kakuma in Kenya last summer -- her refugee camp -- to give a very inspiring TEDX talk about her life in America. And she continues to travel back to Mpls very often, not actually moving away from her parental home.

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Halima is lensed for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue by Yu Tsai at Watamu Beach on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya. “I keep thinking [back] to six-year-old me who, in this same country, was in a refugee camp,” Halima said during her shoot. “So to grow up to live the American dream [and] to come back to Kenya and shoot for SI in the most beautiful parts of Kenya–I don’t think that’s a story that anybody could make up.”

“We believe beauty knows no boundaries,” said SI Swimsuit editor MJ Day. “I admire Halima, and I consider her an inspirational human for what she has decided to use her platform for and her work with Unicef as an ambassador. She is, in my opinion, one of the great beauties of our time, not only outside but inside. When we met, I was instantaneously taken by her intelligence, enthusiasm and authenticity.”

AOC finds Halima Aden to be an extraordinary young woman and a strong voice for young Muslim women. In these days of terrible strife in America and in the American women’s movement itself, Halima’s glorious spirit is a healing one, and goodness knows AOC is eager to jump into her lifeboat, so that we can all row forward together.

Halima Aden Model Archives @ AOC

Anna Wintour: Fashion Must Take A Strong Stand For Democratic Party Values + Female Leadership

Anna Wintour attends the 72nd annual Tony Awards in New York City in June 2018  Image by Walter McBride  via CNN

Anna Wintour attends the 72nd annual Tony Awards in New York City in June 2018 Image by Walter McBride via CNN

CNN's Chief International Anchor Christiane Amanpour interviewed Vogue’s Anna Wintour in New York on Friday April 5, 2019.

Wintour’s 2019 Met Gala is scheduled for May 6, with the theme ‘Camp Notes on Fashion’ , a topic at the heart of Gucci’s brand revival under creative director Alessandro Michele. Curated by Andrew Bolton, the exhibit opens to the public on May 9.

"I like to say that we go from sun kings to drag queens in the show; it's to be hoped that there will be plenty of both, not only at the gala but also coming to see the exhibition," Wintour says about the exhibit.

The organizing committee for the event includes the top names in fashion and especially acting, with Bradley Cooper, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o and Jennifer Lopez with fiance Alex Rodriguez on the list. For a complete rundown, read The Hollywood Reporter.

Last year’s theme focused on the Vatican’s influence on fashion, giving Lena Waithe the opportunity to make a major fashion statement in the time of Trump. Wintour talks politics and values with Amanpour.

Lena Waithe at the 2018 Met Gala wearing a rainbow pride flag cape designed by Carolina Herrera. (Getty Images  via The Evening Standard.)

Lena Waithe at the 2018 Met Gala wearing a rainbow pride flag cape designed by Carolina Herrera. (Getty Images via The Evening Standard.)

Amanpour writes that Wintour referenced multiple times during the interview the need of “taking a stand”. Both her support of Hillary Clinton and agony over the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency are well documented. Wintour put Michelle Obama on Vogue's cover three times, and the magazine has recently profiled Senator Kamala Harris and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Asked about Vogue's forays into politics, Wintour said: "I don't think it's a moment not to take a stand ... I believe, as I think those of us who work at Condé Nast believe, that you have to stand up for what you believe in and you have to take a point of view."

Asked about the majority of Vogue political figures being Democrats, the editor-in-chief responded: "I think it's very, very important to have a point of view, and we profile women in the magazine that we believe in ... After the defeat of Secretary Clinton in 2016 (in particular), we believe that women should have a leadership position and we intend to support them."

New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Ardern, who received a staggering amount of praise for her response to the terror attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, is another female politician with major support from Vogue and Wintour herself. "I think that she's an exceptionally direct, articulate person," Wintour said of Ardern. "And there is no sense that she's ever on message.

"She truly brought the country together in such a remarkable way that I haven't seen many other leaders achieve. And she was just so moving, and when she said, 'we are all one country,' it was a message that a lot of other leaders could learn from."

Anna Wintour will celebrate her 70th birthday this year, and Condé Nast insists she’s not going anywhere. Amanpour’s interview happened the day after Condé Nast appointed Roger Lynch, former CEO of the music streaming service Pandora, as its first global chief executive.

"Anna Wintour is an incredibly talented and creative leader whose influence is beyond measure," Sauerberg's statement read. "She is integral to the future of our company's transformation and has agreed to work with me indefinitely in her role as editor-in-chief, Vogue and artistic director of Condé Nast."

WWD quotes insiders as saying that British Vogue editor in chief Edward Enninful, most frequently brought up as Wintour’s future replacement, is not headed Stateside.

"Edward is a brilliant editor," Wintour tells Amanpour. "And I think he's really, in his fearless style of editing, brought a completely different point of view to British Vogue -- with no disrespect to the editor that was there for many years before Edward.

"I think that he's very passionate about race. He's very passionate about politics ... He is taking a stand and he is not trying to please everybody, because you can't in this day and age."