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Kate Spade's Tragic Suicide + More
How Kate Spade’s Suicide Exemplifies the State of Women’s Health
The recent death of fashion icon Kate Spade alludes to the climbing suicide statistics among women. In the past 20 years, suicide rates among women aged 45-64 has increased 63% - the age that women, such as Spade, were at the peak of their careers. There is also evidence to show that women in certain industries - dentists, laborers, doctors, and artists, like Spade - are more likely to exhibit mental health issues, including suicidal thoughts.
Image: MARK SAGLIOCCO/GETTY
Ladies, It’s Not Your Job to Mother the Men Around You
Emotional labor, or invisible labor, can seem to start out innocently enough. But as Samantha Shanley, a recently divorced mother of three children, found when men began coming to her with their marriage troubles, it saps a massive amount of energy that is needed for her self-care and relationships with her own children. Seeing women as willing ears for issues better suited for a professional therapist indicates the ways society still pigeonholes women as natural nurturers, and expects free labor from them despite the toll it may take on their mental energies.
The Double-Edged Superpower: Mental Illness
Oftentimes in superhero movies, female villains are portrayed in a negative light – especially concerning the state of their mental health. With women already having to overcome the notion that her sex defines her mental health, what’s more is that female villains habitually rely on this for the source of their power - one that is almost impossible to overcome – and is ultimately their downfall. Because so many children watch these movies, young girls are told that mental illness is a bad thing – but it doesn’t have to be.
Threat of Deportation Deters Immigrants from Reporting Domestic Violence
Out of fear of deportation or separation from children, police say Hispanic immigrants in Texas are not reporting crimes of domestic violence to law enforcement. The increasingly virulent political atmosphere around undocumented immigrants, especially since President Donald Trump has entered office, means that victims (the majority of whom are women) are put at further risk for violence and death. Even legal immigrants fear retaliation, showing how dangerous and pervasive a lack of trust in law enforcement is within the Hispanic community. Victims should never be faced with the notion that not reporting may be safer for them, and some Texas police leadership is working to bridge this divide.
Mental Health Problems Among Girls Continues to Increase
New statistics show that young girls are starting to exhibit more and more signs of mental health issues. The foremost statistic concerned body image – something that, in today’s culture, isn’t at all surprising. According to University College London, girls make up 90% of children admitted to the hospital for eating disorders, correlating to the near two-thirds increase in self-harm among the same age group.
Image: Girl, Interrupted
Literary Agent for Feminist Authors Dies at 87
Elaine Markson, a literary agent and trailblazer for feminist voices, passed away on May 21. Though some may not have known her name, the words and stories she elevated and helped publish have left indelible marks on feminist archives. The voices she bolstered were not only those of authors of means; she took chances on those with nothing except something meaningful to say. She is remembered for creating a community of women and a platform for feminist writers, showing that the person behind the scenes can have just as much of an impact as the person with the loudest voice.
It’s been over a year and six months since the Brexit vote, and the UK’s impending breakaway from the European Union is still causing uproar. Fashion companies based around the UK, in particular, are concerned about the deals’ impact on their ability to hire and travel internationally, as well as import high-quality textiles from around the globe. According to a report from the Creative Industries Federation, 74% of small luxury labels—many of whom are run by or provide employment to women-- fear that Brexit will significantly harm business prospects. Adam Mansell, the executive of the UK Fashion and Textile Association, warns that, although it seems unlikely, “it is vital that we get a trade deal with zero tariffs and very simple border controls.”
28-year-old Humza Mian isn’t just a veterinary technician—he’s also a drag queen and social media influencer whose feeds are both a celebration of his South Asian heritage and of his individuality. His drag name, MangHoe Lassi, pays homage to a popular drink in India. Growing up in a religious family, Mian was taught to hide any traces of femininity, and he still isn’t out to his parents. While he wishes he could be, the reality is that coming out still is not a safe option for many people across the world. Even though laws are changing and promoting acceptance of more and more people, the social implications of such a decision can be incredibly dangerous. Mian wishes that media represented those queer folk who are proud of their identity but still have to remain closeted, unlike the many out-loud-and-proud shows like Queer Eye and RuPaul’s Drag Race. Despite this, he is happy his drag, makeup tutorials, and social media presence as a beauty influencer can create a safe space for him to be fully himself, and he hopes he can create that space for others with similar experiences.
Jessamyn Stanley, yoga instructor and body-positive advocate took to Instagram this week to talk about an issue that isn’t discussed nearly enough: chafing and the discomfort—and scars—it can result in. Stanley posted an amazingly real photo of herself on her couch in her underwear, comfortably watching television with her inner thighs bearing the scars many plus-sized women have from chafing. Within her caption, she says “Yes, there are permanent marks on my thighs from chafing, Welcome to being #fat.” What people don’t realize is that this happens to women whose thighs happen to brush together when they walk—it’s not about being what society deems as “fat.” It’s simply friction and nothing to be ashamed of.
Coming out is an important moment for many in the queer community, but what if you never technically have to come out, or you’re not sure you even have anything to come out about? Growing up, Wilson knew she liked boys, but she was confused about the feelings that girls would sometimes provoke in her. She hated herself for being confused. As a supporter of queer rights, she felt that even discussing her confusion would take away from “real queer people,” and she saw her own identity as invalid. After all, she married a man and was incredibly happy with him, so what was the point of exploring her identity even further? But one day during Pride Month, Eleanor wondered why she didn’t think her identity mattered and why she had been unhappily hiding herself. She realized that to finally feel comfortable in her own skin, she had to be honest. After coming out via social media, Eleanor couldn’t stop telling everyone she talked to; it gave her such a rush of love for herself and her unique identity. If there’s one thing Eleanor’s story can teach us, it’s that accepting yourself and showing who you are to the world takes time, bravery, and a whole lot of self-love.