BUST: For Women With Something To Get Off Their Chests - BUST http://bust.com Thu, 19 Jan 2017 14:09:15 -0500 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb debbie@bust.com (BUST ) Dancing Protestors Have a Message For Daddy Pence http://bust.com/feminism/18914-mike-pence-queer-dance-party.html http://bust.com/feminism/18914-mike-pence-queer-dance-party.html Screen Shot 2017 01 19 at 12.04.29 PM

You should do one thing every day to make yourself smile. Today, you should google ‘Mike Pence Queer Dance Party’— I guarantee you won’t be able to keep from smiling. Armed with the fierce tunes of Lady Gaga and Whitney Houston, protesters danced their way to Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s temporary home. Donned in glitter, tutus and party hats, the crowd held rainbow flags and glow sticks. The march was organized by WERK for Peace and #DisruptJ20. The leader and one of the organizers of the march, Firas Nasr, had a message for Pence, proclaiming to the crowd: "We are here tonight to send a clear message to Daddy Pence that we will not tolerate bigotry and hate in our country."

Nasr is the founder of the movement WERK for Peace, a grassroots movement that uses dance to advocate for peace and LGBTQ rights. The movement grew out of the Pulse nightclub massacre in Florida last year with members dancing their way to change ever since.

Screen Shot 2017 01 19 at 12.09.41 PMVia Twitter/@stanlwilliams 

While the crowd was packed with avid dancers and the streets transformed into a nightclub, Daddy Pence was nowhere to be found. Instead, he was at his inaugural dinner on the other side of town (what a party pooper!). The neighborhood where the protesters danced seems to have been against Pence since he moved in: several neighbors hung rainbow flags outside their homes after hearing news of Pence’s temporary move.

 Screen Shot 2017 01 19 at 12.10.48 PMVia Twitter/@mike_pence

This is not Werk for Peace's first dance off; in the past, they have danced in front of NRA headquarters and Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute. #DisruptJ20 told VICE that it is planning "a number of creative actions to oppose the transition of power in DC on January 20."

Top photo via Twitter/ @CrappyMovies 

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samantha.mercado@stonybrook.edu (Samantha Mercado) ROOT Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:28:00 -0500
Goodbye, President Hillary http://bust.com/feminism/18915-goodbye-president-hillary.html http://bust.com/feminism/18915-goodbye-president-hillary.html CwnnZT1W8AEEEQz copy

As the country says its goodbyes to President Obama and reflects on his legacy, I am this week saying my own goodbye: not to President Obama, but to the idea of President Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Like many others in the New York bubble, I was in no way prepared for the outcome on November 8. “You know what’s great?” I would declare. “In 100 years, Hillary will be the President Clinton history remembers most clearly, not Bill.”

And so I have spent a good deal of the last two months balancing coming to terms with the horrific reality that Trump will be President (still not real) with the agonizing, suffocating injustice that Hillary Rodham Clinton will not.

It’s not just about the general idea of an unqualified, revolting, potentially unhinged pig-in-a-wig defeating an overqualified, dignified, intelligent woman. It’s about this man defeating this woman.

It’s about Hillary.


Like so many women around the world, I felt like I knew Presidential Candidate Clinton. Like a friend, like a mother, like a sister.

The Clinton I knew, the Clinton who was going to be President, was freakishly competent and fiercely intelligent. She was cool, calm, and collected under the most unprecedented circumstances; remaining in control even as a large, orange goblin lurked behind her, trying to put her off her game. And she knew everything. Yes, she was polished and primped and prepped to a tee: she was trying to be as perfect as the world demanded a woman candidate be. She was presidential.

Almost-President Hillary’s warmth shown even through her layers of professionalism. She loved to throw her head back and laugh— an unfairly, endlessly mocked laugh but one of genuine mirth— and clap her hands. She could use that joie de vivre to laugh at herself or to smile knowingly at her opponent as he talked himself into a hole, while her brilliant lawyer’s mind spun crackling rebuttals. She was battle-scarred but not broken, wronged but stronger for it. Hillary Rodham Clinton was the young woman who had tried to keep her maiden name, and though society took that from her, it never took her spirit.


Unlike a number of other female leaders or almost-leaders, President Hillary was going to be an unapologetically pro-women President. She was the First Lady who declared forcefully in Beijing that “human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights once and for all” in 1995, and the Secretary of State who had used her position to promote women’s rights across the globe. Hers would have been a feminist presidency, working to close the gender pay gap, increase the minimum wage, fight campus sexual assault, and protect women’s reproductive rights and health.

And most importantly to me— and potentially most destructively for her— President Hillary was ambitious. Many women cannot picture themselves in charge, but Hillary, so it seemed, couldn’t imagine anyone else in the role. She fully believed in herself, and in the idea that she was the best candidate for the job, and she pursued it aggressively.

My favorite picture of Clinton is the one of her as a girl. As Nichola Gutgold wrote in her book on Clinton’s 2008 campaign, women often lose their “girlish confidence” as they grow older, in a way that boys do not. Hillary was the girl who did not relinquish her sense of confidence and, yes, entitlement, that she deserved every chance the boys did, from the story of the Harvard admissions test to standing twice for the Democratic nomination amongst a field of men.

Screen Shot 2017 01 19 at 12.32.21 pm

With that confidence, she reminded women, both young and old, that it was okay to reach for their dreams. Clinton’s second bid said even in the face of setbacks, it still doesn’t have to go away— you can fight and lose and still think you are the best candidate for leader of the free world. Coupled with Hillary’s undeniable tenacity, President Clinton would have been unstoppable.

We can only dream of the capability she would have brought to the White House. We can only imagine the perfectionism she would have brought to the presidency. Since the election, people have lambasted the inclusive “Stronger Together” as a weak slogan; now we can only stare in horror at Trump’s tweets and long for the galvanizing speeches she would have aimed to deliver.

This week I am saying goodbye. Goodbye to the idea of watching this woman dance a third inaugural first dance— except this time it would be hers, not her husband’s. Goodbye to First Gentleman Bill Clinton, and the great satisfaction (in spite of all the crap) of seeing how much he admired her. Goodbye to Vice President Tim Kaine, who would have been America’s boring but dependable Dad (though capable of a fiery telling-off, like the one he delivered to Betsy DeVos this week).

Screen Shot 2017 01 19 at 12.34.13 pm

And goodbye to eight years of powerful pantsuits.

There’s a reason my room is littered with pictures of her— an #IFeelLikeHillz stencil on the wall, a pink-pantsuited bookmark sticking out of the bookshelf. She gets me out of bed with her embodiment of the idea that hard work and a healthy dose of ambition can get you anywhere. Almost. In a few more years, it will.

There will be a Madam President someday. But I wanted this one: this ball-busting, sharp-witted, stereotype-defying legend of a woman, this “anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better” beacon of determination.


Though there’s a good chance I’ll cry every time I see her for the rest of my days, it’s time to lay my Clinton Presidency dreams to rest. But we should never lay to rest the ideas she embodied: that ambition is healthy and women can do anything they want to do.

Clinton clearly understood what she represented, and the very personal doubts her loss triggered in many of us, little girls and bigger girls. Pinned to the top of her Twitter page— one can only assume indefinitely— is the message she gifted us on the horrible morning of November 9:

Screen Shot 2017 01 18 at 7.56.35 pm

Goodbye, President Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Thanks for reminding us that we are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world.


All images via Twitter, @HillaryClinton and @timkaine. Gif via Giphy.

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rachelrosewithers@gmail.com (Rachel Withers) ROOT Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:42:05 -0500
3 Posters For The Women's March On Washington http://bust.com/feminism/18916-bust-posters-womens-march.html http://bust.com/feminism/18916-bust-posters-womens-march.html rizzo2 copy

BUST will be joining the Women's March on Washington this Saturday, January 21st, and we hope to see some of you there! If you can't make it to DC, there will be many sister marches around the world, in every state in the US and in countries from Albania to New Zealand. We're bringing you three posters to print out and carry wherever you march — the Nasty Women poster is designed by Mike Perry, and the other two posters come straight from the BUST office. Tell Trump how you really feel!


BUST Nasty Women Unite Mike Perry 2017 copy

rizzo2 copy

BUST will be at the Women's March on Washington on January 21st — join us! Thank you to our bus sponsor, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab.

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erikawsmith@bust.com (Erika W. Smith) ROOT Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:44:12 -0500
In These Powerful Videos, People From Marginalized Groups Prepare For Trump's Presidency http://bust.com/arts/18913-preparing-for-trump-interviews.html http://bust.com/arts/18913-preparing-for-trump-interviews.html MuslimActivist 4

Every four years America hangs suspended between "This is what our President Elect said he'd do" and "This is what President Elect will actually do" for the weeks between election and inauguration.

But between chants of “not my president” at protests across the country and calls from politicians to "take a wait and see approach,” people from marginalized groups have been quietly preparing for the possibilities of that a Trump presidency makes good on all, or even some, of its campaign promises.

“We’re not having a debate here over things like what policy should be or the size of the federal budget,” Heidi Beirich, Director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center said. “This is a very different thing that has to do with people’s civil rights and it’s scary.”

And while it’s true that there are no policies in place to fight yet, the fear sparked by Trump’s campaign rhetoric has been channeled into intimate changes and personal planning, particularly for women and nonbinary people — the front lines of protection for themselves and often their families and communities.

These are just seven of those people, pictured in their homes, represented in their own words.

Families are moving, IUDs are being scheduled and safe houses are being arranged, to name a few preemptive measures. But the common thread between these planners is that they’re hoping that by taking care of their needs before inauguration, they’ll be better equipped and available to take care of others.

Do you think a Trump resistance should wait until his term and his team start? These folks say their communities can’t afford to hope those campaign promises were empty.

“I don’t know what their policies are going to be, but I’m assuming that I can take these people at their word,” Beirich said.

For many in America, the Trump presidency began as soon his victory results rolled in.



Michelle is getting an IUD: “They think having a child isn’t really asking much.”






Adron is getting sterilized: “I think now is a good time for drastic gestures of self-commitment to the environment.”




MuslimActivist 4


A Muslim activist is creating a safe house network (Identity withheld to protect those she works with): "It's a reality for people."






L.A. is changing their gender marker: “It’s a weird and unsettling feeling to feel like I have to pick one.”




citizenship 2


Hannah is applying for citizenship: “The response I always get is, 'Well you’re the right sort of immigrant.’”




Activist 2


Tiffany is focusing on black self-care: “Maybe we don’t want to have to constantly be in survival mode.”




Moving 2


An African American mother and healthcare worker is moving her family out of a red state (Identity withheld to protect her family): “Why is it our responsibility to stay and fix it?”




Words, photos and videos by Maura Friedman. Mary Helen Montgomery contributed to production.

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maurafriedman@gmail.com (Maura Friedman) ROOT Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:22:59 -0500
Know Your Own Power: On Healing And Creating After The Election http://bust.com/feminism/18912-nasty-women-exhibition.html http://bust.com/feminism/18912-nasty-women-exhibition.html 18620002

Last weekend I attended a panel about smashing the glass ceiling when something within me clicked. The event took place at New York’s latest Nasty Women exhibition, in which one of the speakers happened to be Mindy Abovitz, the founder of Tom Tom magazine. As the creator of the only publication solely dedicated to female drummers, Abovitz spoke of the nebulous of power that exists around all of us. You have to take hold of it, she firmly declared to the women in the audience.

A few minutes later, I watched her take part in a drum performance, in which drummers played throughout the venue, even in the bathroom. But Abovitz had been tasked with performing outside the space, just as icy rain and snow started to come down hard. A little bad weather and frigid cold temperatures didn’t stop her from playing, though. Hood up, hair flowing in the freezing wind, she banged that drum set harder than I had ever seen a woman hit anything before. Here was a powerful woman sitting right before me, shattering the glass ceiling.

In the last few weeks, something has felt different. Good different. It’s as if as soon as the clock struck midnight on January 1st, 2017 I literally left all of my fucks behind. The next morning, I looked at my hung over self in the mirror and saw the same young woman staring back at me. While I hadn’t brushed my teeth and my makeup and outfit were still on from the night before, I felt different. And yet, I couldn’t put my finger on what had changed.

It wasn’t too long ago that I was full of inspiration and limitless ideas, but I was too lost and afraid to do anything about it. Like so many other mid-twenty somethings, I hit an all-time low around age 25. It was then that the fear of putting my ideas and myself out there had exhausted me to such an extreme that I finally had to make a change.

Although my sense of self had been bruised so deeply, little by little I found a way to rebuild my identity. I reprioritized my time and started following through on various creative pursuits. With little idea of what it would be, I bought a domain and started a passion project. From there, I began interviewing other creatives, organizing events, and eventually started writing personal essays. With hard work and dedication, my life changed drastically – And for the better. Over time, I came to know myself, and I started to believe in that person.

After two years of hustling, I had collected a laundry list of life lessons and finally found a community to call my own. With over 20 events, 30 interviews, and several published essays under my belt, I had proved to myself I could actually make shit happen. And yet, this summer I realized I was drowning.

In the same week, I unexpectedly lost a family member and had a negative experience with a guy I was dating. For too long I had not listened to my personal needs, until those tough experiences stripped me raw and left me completely bare. It was then that I realized I had overextended myself to an extreme.

It took my body falling apart to realize that I physically and emotionally needed to take a break. So, I stopped overloading myself with commitments, projects, and plans, and instead, I laid around for days, doing absolutely nothing. I took long, hot showers; watched '90s movies; and bawled my eyes out. It was the first time I allowed myself to actually relax and not be productive in two years.

It was the first time I gave myself space to rest, process, grieve, and heal.

The thing is, I realized then that I needed to stop saying yes to everything in order to say yes to me. It was time to reprioritize again, to start saying no to shit, and to let go of things that were no longer serving me. After much internal debate, I decided to let go of the passion project that had become my entire identity and changed my life in so many amazing ways. And at the same time, I let go of so many other things that had been buried deep inside me for so long — like resentment I felt towards my parents’ divorce, feelings for men who didn’t respect me, and the feeling that I am not enough alone.

Letting go was totally freeing and I came out of it with a greater sense of self. Finally, I felt permission to trust myself and be worthy of being an independent female building her own fempire. With that, I ended a defining chapter of my life, and began writing the next one.

In a few months time, I shifted my focus on a new female-focused project, whose responsibilities I could share with friends. Plus, I signed up for Girls Write Now, a mentorship program for teen female writers. To my surprise, I even landed a new job more in line with my skills and interests. I was inspired and excited to be moving, and growing, forward.

That was until the presidential election. On the morning of November 9th, I again found myself back in that dark hole of gloominess. I admit I’ve never been very politically inclined, but Hillary’s loss hit me hard. Like so many others, I was shell-shocked and completely frozen in fear of the future ahead. But this time, I knew how to take the space I needed to process the upset. First, I rested, then I wrote, and then, I got back to work.

Quickly I realized I had an obligation to my mentee, to my fellow females, and to myself, to keep going, work harder, and use my voice as a platform for change. With that, I pushed myself to stay more politically engaged, readjusted my latest project to give back and help other women in need, and I bought a bus ticket to attend the Women’s March in D.C.

Today, my intentions are clearer than ever. While I now know when to let myself take a pause, I can feel a new sense of purpose pulsing through my veins. At once, I am completely at ease and yet, I also feel totally relentless. In fact, I have never felt so fearless or self-assured. It’s as if the election has lit a fire under me unlike anything ever before. And it’s starting to pay off: Lately, I’ve been feeling even more confident in my work, my writing and my voice. Plus, my side hustle is taking off, and I am meeting new collaborators, friends and men much more in line with the me I am now.

Looking back on the last few years, it’s as if I went from feeling powerless, to feeling empowered, to feeling powerful. Today, I have finally come to know my own Power (power with a capital P). With this new revelation, I am adjusting my New Years’ resolutions and now, my only goal for 2017 is to be the power I wish to see in the world.

Although it may be against everything we’ve been conditioned to believe, us women must teach ourselves, and each other to see, and seize, our own power. There may still be so many glass ceilings to shatter, but if we put our power out there, we will get power in return.

If you’re headed to DC on Saturday, look out for the girl at the Women’s March with a sign that says, “I left all my fucks in 2016."

Sara Radin is a writer and curator based in Brooklyn, NY. Full time, she is the Youth Culture Editor for WGSN, where she consults global brands on consumer trends for Millennials and Generation Z. Outside of work, Sara is the co-founder and creative director of It's Not Personal, a female dating collective and growing anthology based in New York. Check out BUST's monthly column with the collective here. Follow Sara on Instagram.

Photo by Elizabeth Scholnick. The photograph featured in this essay was taken during the New York protests following the 2017 presidential election. A native New Yorker, Elizabeth graduated from SVA with a BFA in Photography in 2011. She now runs an annual magazine, Mind Breath Magazine, and her latest issue dropped this past December 2016. Her company, Mind Breath Productions, produces magazines, books, and is currently in the process of producing a documentary. Follow her on Instagram @elizabethscholnick and see more of her work here.

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sararradin@gmail.com (Sara Radin) ROOT Thu, 19 Jan 2017 11:40:54 -0500
Online Therapy Could Be The Virtual Support You Need http://bust.com/living/18905-doctor-is-in.html http://bust.com/living/18905-doctor-is-in.html  


Ditch the couch. Online therapy might be just the virtual support you need.

My apartment floor has sprouted a giant crack like a vortex into the underworld, my daughter’s day care will be closed indefinitely for renovations, I’m working on three back-to-back projects as BUST’s events manager, and my narcissistic mom is making for some not-so-happy holidays. This typical barrage of stressors makes having a licensed therapist a necessity. But after trying one-on-one, in-person therapy, I found out there’s an app for that, which suits me way better. 

My first go at finding a therapist was traditional: I searched in my area, making dozens of calls until I found a doctor who took my insurance as well as new patients. But the rigid time commitment of face-to-face therapy was an added stress. And by the time my evening appointments rolled around, I was exhausted and so was my therapist (which gets real old real fast at $65 an hour). So I decided to try Talkspace (talkspace.com). The online service/app matches you to a licensed therapist that you can chat with on an unlimited basis through text, audio, and video messaging. And though it doesn’t take insurance, at $32 a week it’s much more affordable. For $43 a week you also get a live session, via phone or Skype; $69 a week gets you four live sessions. Talkspace not only gave me a coping tool that I can utilize as needed, but it also facilitated a powerful bond with a rad and brilliant lady—my virtual therapist. 

The process begins with a free assessment by a licensed therapist, who asks for basic information like gender identity, culture/ethnicity, as well as how you felt about your past experiences with therapy and whether you have any special requests in order to match you with a compatible therapist. (This is also helpful because your reasons for wanting therapy and the things you’re challenged by are logged so your future assessor isn’t reliant on their first impression or handwritten notes.) It was important to me that my therapist be a fellow feminist, and the Talkspace match was perfect: my therapist minored in women’s studies, has her own practice, and is a mom to boot. During our first week of chatting, I was tickled to learn she also dabbled in the occult, and we’ve even used tarot in some of our sessions. Though we both live hectic lives, the app facilitates a continuous conversation flow so I feel like I have 24/7 support and we schedule Skype chats that can vary weekly. One evening, when I was feeling extra lonely, my therapist Skyped me for a late appointment with her infant in tow. There she was, frazzled with a wide-awake baby at an “oh hell no” hour, and all I could do was laugh and feel so very not alone seeing this veritable badass trudging through familiar trenches. Ironically, the options for access, the time flexibility, and the quality of Talkspace’s therapist roster have made my virtual therapy experience much more human.

By Jules Abraham

Art by Nicole Xu

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socialmedia@bust.com (BUST Magazine) ROOT Wed, 18 Jan 2017 16:38:36 -0500
Women Brewers In Denver Put Social Justice On Tap http://bust.com/eat-me/18902-women-brewers-denver.html http://bust.com/eat-me/18902-women-brewers-denver.html IMG 0402

While many of us will want to drown our sorrows this Inauguration Day, some people are a little more proactive about it.

Kelissa Hieber, head brewer at Goldspot Brewing, and Bess Dougherty, another Denver-based brewer, wanted to push back at the climate of hate and oppression that has been festering anew in the past few months. They organized a group of like-minded women brewers in Denver to concoct Makin’ Noise: A Pussy Riot Beer, which will be tapped on Jan. 20. Donations from the proceeds will go to Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and organizations in their area that benefit the environment and the LGBT community.

Right after the election, Dougherty went to a panel discussion featuring some members of Pussy Riot, the Russian punk band and activist group. “My emotions at this point were still raw. It was my first time leaving the house post-election and it was the most therapeutic thing I could have asked for, the guidance and being surrounded by like-minded people. The two things that stuck out the most were when they were asked, ‘What do we as Americans do now?’ The answer was to stay and fight,” Dougherty said.

IMG 0409Photo: Jonathan Shikes of Westword

IMG 0406Photo: Jonathan Shikes of Westword

Pussy Riot encourages people to use their voices and their art to effect social and political change. The brewers say that making beer is their art form and this is how they express themselves. “For me, it's about showing up and being an active voice for positive change in our communities. It's about providing spaces where people can drink in solidarity with each other and put their beer money to work for good. It may seem like a small action, but it's really a big statement to make,” Betsy Lay, co-owner of Lady Justice Brewing, said.

The group of brewers has been gathering together in December and early January at Goldspot Brewing, Lady Justice Brewing, 3 Freaks Brewery, Black Sky Brewing, and Brewability Lab. They are whipping up different versions of an imperial saison, which will come out to a walloping 8-9% abv. When asked why this particular style of beer was chosen, Lay said, “In appearance, it’s pretty delicate and unassuming. In reality, this beer is strong, powerful, and takes no shit.”

IMG 1798Photo: Black Sky Brewing

If you are what you drink, this is the beer you want to have in your hand to stand up to the patriarchy.

She’s all about putting beer money to work. “Lady Justice Brewing exists to promote opportunities for women and girls so they can be empowered to be and do great things,” Lay said. “The people who drink our beer want to be a part of making these opportunities happen. The mission statement written by Bess and Kelissa for the Pussy Riot beers resonates with that and is what really sold me on saying yes to this project.”

IMG 1805Photo: Black Sky Brewing

The mission statement reads:

We believe in an America that celebrates its diversity, an America that protects and supports anyone regardless of sexual orientation, gender, identity, race, religious views, or immigration status. We condemn the hate that has always existed against marginalized groups and we will not stand for the new strong wave hitting our country. We felt it necessary to take action and decided to use our art to make our voices heard. We are coming out in support of those most at risk in our community and doing what we can to stand together as a united voice against hate and intolerance. This beer works to combat the hate and oppression while also lending support and solidarity to the fight for equality. We believe in this beautiful community and we feel it is necessary to work together to protect it.

We are asking that at least $1 from every pint sold at each participating brewery will go towards a charity that supports those most at risk in our community. We are also working with our partners for tap takeovers to ensure that proceeds from those events also go towards the proposed charities.

IMG 1806Photo: Black Sky Brewing

20170109 113525Photo: Black Sky Brewing

The brewers are hosting a series of events on inauguration day and the following day to celebrate the Women’s March. Many other breweries and bars in the area are participating and Black Sky Brewery will host an art show of pieces inspired by the project. On Jan. 28, Colorado Plus Brew Pub will tap one keg from each of the participating breweries and there will be a “meet the brewer” event with proceeds going to ProgressNow Colorado.

Dougherty said that this is the biggest project she has ever organized, but since the election, she has been fired up to take action. She and the other brewers hope to keep the momentum going with quarterly events with rotating host breweries that will support different charities.

IMG 20170103 163548 103Photo: Kim Collins

“As a woman and as a member of the LGBTQ community, the uncertainty of it all is scary at times,” Lay said. “There’s a lot at stake for the rights of marginalized communities. Social justice movements are extremely important in making sure that we don't all just give up and accept defeat. We need to be standing up for each other, we need to be organizing, and we need to be brewing a lot more beer.”

We can all drink to that.

Rebecca DeRosa is a writer, musician, and yoga teacher living in Brooklyn.

Top photo: 

Photo: Jonathan Shikes of Westword

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rebeccaderosa@gmail.com (Rebecca DeRosa) ROOT Wed, 18 Jan 2017 14:20:28 -0500
Trump Family Gets A Reality Check For Reality TV Behavior http://bust.com/feminism/18907-trump-family-gets-a-reality-check-for-reality-tv-behavior.html http://bust.com/feminism/18907-trump-family-gets-a-reality-check-for-reality-tv-behavior.html Screen Shot 2017 01 18 at 4.41.08 PM copy

The Trump enterprise (or family) may be rich but they are definitely tacky. We have seen the lavish, glossy spreads of his gold-plated home in the Trump Tower or the birds-eye shots of his Mar a Lago estate in Florida but how do these heirs-turned-reality-TV-show people see the world? Like a playground built for them. While Trump boasts about grabbing women by the pussy, something he can do “because he’s famous.”, Marla Maples, his ex-mistress, tried to score a free hair-do for her and Tiffany for the inauguration.

It’s hard to miss the irony that Trump who got elected on the backs of people who just want Americans to work and get fair pay for their work is so eager to receive free labor and “gifts.”

What went down, according to The Washington Post is that “after some back and forth”, D.C hairstylist, Tricia Kelly “agreed to be paid $200 total” down from her fee of “$150 for travel in addition to the cost of her services.” Which is already an unrefined move considering it is for the highest profile political event ever. But the real kicker is when Maple’s assistant counter offered with, “would Kelly and the makeup artist be willing to provide their services for free... in exchange for exposure?”

Last I heard, exposure does not pay rent, and much less, tax. It is an embarrassment to the office to have parts of the family (or brand) endeavor to exploit the titles of what is historically an elected official. But this reality diva behavior was met with a reality check by Kelly who stated, “I work for a fee, not for free.” Not to mention, “she typically shuns such exposure of her work with political types, so as not to appear partisan, since her clients include prominent Republicans and Democrats.”

It may appear shocking in a world where exposure is the new currency—especially for Trump—that a hairstylist would pass up on the “opportunity”, but it is refreshing to know that there is integrity somewhere in the capital and that not everyone has drunk the kool-aid.

Maple’s people told TWP that, “Maples was worried about her financial situation with Tiffany out of college, ending child-support payments from the president-elect.”

Certainly, that is an unprecedented and unpresidential move and a freebie hair session won’t fix it.

Given his track record, and his not so implicit wincing from that particular branch of his family, it is not surprising to learn he might be tightening child support, however that information is not yet confirmed and is definitely not the concern of a hard working coiffeuse.

Top Photo @fadilbersiha and via Instagram/@itsmarlamaples 

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jenpitt@gmail.com (Jen Pitt) ROOT Wed, 18 Jan 2017 17:05:12 -0500
6 Photos That Prove Yarn Can Make More Than Just Mittens http://bust.com/arts/18904-yarn-art-exhibition.html http://bust.com/arts/18904-yarn-art-exhibition.html Daydream

When you hear the word yarn what comes to mind? Maybe a kitten fiddling with a colorful ball or that sweater that your grandma knit you for Christmas. What about an art exhibit? Artist Courtney Kenny Porto is creating breathtaking feminist art using yarn. The images showcase women in solemn positions using black, white, and gray yarn.

The exhibit will be on display at Nebraska's Norfolk Arts Center from January 5 to February 24. Check out some of the pieces on display now and learn more about Courtney Kenny Porto on her website here.

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All photos via Courtney Kenny Porto

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samantha.mercado@stonybrook.edu (Samantha Mercado) ROOT Wed, 18 Jan 2017 15:11:41 -0500
Obama Commuted Chelsea Manning's Prison Sentence Just Days Before Leaving Office http://bust.com/feminism/18903-chelsea-manning-commuted-prison-sentence.html http://bust.com/feminism/18903-chelsea-manning-commuted-prison-sentence.html  9518370869 441953965e n

The 2010 case of Chelsea Manning and the over 750,000 documents and videos that she sent to Wikileaks saw the strange marriage of two issues we don’t normally see side by side: U.S. foreign policy and transgender issues. Seven years later those issues are coming back into the public eye as Obama has just decided to commute Manning’s prison sentence.

Originally sentenced to 35 years-- the longest sentence ever imposed by the U.S. for leak conviction-- Manning will now be released May 17, 2017. During her seven years in prison, Manning has attempted suicide twice. She originally asked Obama for clemency citing the fact that her life was in danger being the only transgender woman in an all-male prison.

In case you forgot the details of the case, here’s a quick overview:

While stationed as an intelligence analyst in Iraq, Manning leaked hundreds of thousands of military incident logs that revealed the abuse of detainees by Iraqi military officers working with American forces according to The New York Times. The Times reported that the leaks also revealed that the civilian casualty number for the Iraq war was much higher than what had been ‘officially estimated’. Manning sent the information to Wikileaks in the hopes of starting “worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms.”

After the files were leaked, according to CNN Politics, she was found guilty of 20 out of 22 possible charges (including violating the US Espionage Act) and sentenced to 35-years in an all-male prison.

Throughout her military career, Manning identified as a gay man but had doubts about her gender. During and after the Wikileaks episode Manning began her transition. The defense department agreed to allow her to partly transition, giving her hormones and letting her wear women’s undergarments and light cosmetics. However, they would not allow her to grow her hair longer than male military standards due to “security risks” and, according to Manning, she hasn’t been able to speak with a surgeon about sex reassignment surgery.

Following Obama’s announcement of the commutation, several people spoke out for and against it, including House Speaker Paul Ryan tweeting “Chelsea Manning's treachery put American lives at risk and exposed some of our nation's most sensitive secrets.”

Screen Shot 2017 01 18 at 2.15.25 PMVia Twitter/ @SpeakerRyan

Edward Snowden offered Manning more comforting words, tweeting, “In five more months, you will be free. Thank you for what you did for everyone, Chelsea. Stay strong a while longer!”

Screen Shot 2017 01 18 at 2.16.44 PMVia Twitter/ @Snowden

Manning’s attorney says that she is eager to leave prison and finally start her life.


Top photo via Flickr/Mathew Lippincott

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samantha.mercado@stonybrook.edu (Samantha Mercado) ROOT Wed, 18 Jan 2017 14:26:50 -0500