The Weekly “What???”: A GrokNation News Roundup

Our editors take you through some of the stories and topics you have to know about...
By Esther D. Kustanowitz  Published on 11/10/2017 at 12:06 PM EDT

The news cycle spins fast and if we blink, we miss a story. So here are some of the conversations people are having this week:

Critical: Sexual Harassment and Misconduct

  • Yesterday, Comedian Louis C.K. was accused by several women of sexual misconduct during interactions. So what does this mean to those whose work was supported by C.K?  Comedian Tig Notaro, whose standup special was circulated by C.K. and whose Amazon series One Mississippi is co-produced by C.K. said she now feels trapped by the association, according to the New York Times, and that she was “standing in support of those with the courage ‘to speak up against such a powerful figure,’ she said, ‘as well as the multitude of women still out there, not quite ready to share their nightmares.’” This morning, C.K. published a statement in which he said that “the stories are true,” and that “there is nothing about this that I forgive myself for. And I have to reconcile it with who I am. Which is nothing compared to the task I left them with. I wish I had reacted to their admiration of me by being a good example to them as a man and given them some guidance as a comedian, including because I admired their work.”
  • “Let’s remember the epidemic of violence against women in our society disproportionately affects low income women, particularly women of color, trans and queer women and indigenous women, who are silenced by their economic circumstances and profound mistrust of a justice system that acquits the guilty in the face of overwhelming evidence and continues to oppress people of color,” said Juno and X-Men actor Ellen Page in a Facebook post.
  • “If you’d asked me last month, even last week, I’d have balked at the mere idea of writing an essay like this. I never planned to tell anyone this story. I had buried it, tucked it away marked under S for shame and cross-referenced into Y for youth.” In Vox, writer Sarah Wildman revealed her encounter with former The New Republic editor Leon Wieseltier, why she reported it, and what other people learned from her coming forward, then and now.
  • Actor David Schwimmer (Friends) made this intense, disturbing series (with Sigal Avin, who wrote and directed) to help illustrate the idea of “sexual harassment.” These PSAs are designed to make viewers uncomfortable (see the look on Cynthia Nixon’s face in the featured image), but anecdotal feedback reveals that it is mostly women who are finding them uncomfortable and mostly men who are asking “what’s the big deal?” While this indicates a real need for raising awareness of sexual harassment, it makes us wonder: what kind of message will it take to get through to the men who need it?

Cultural: Music to Track Down

  • Iconic country singer (and co-star of 9 to 5, an excellent ladycentric movie of the 1970s) Dolly Parton has just released a children’s album. Proceeds from the new project will support her children’s charity, which promotes literacy by sending books to children all over the world. Dolly’s been a singer for five decades and we hope she’ll keep at it for another five!
  • Russian feminist protest punk rock group Pussy Riot released “Police State,” a new dystopian video starring Chloe Sevigny:

Satire & Quirk: The Weird and the Wonderful

  • “Makers of pink yarn continue to meet moderate demand…Therapists across the country are having a pretty normal day. Business could be better, most of them think.” Former lawyer and writer who specializes in media, politics, gender and culture Rachel Sklar imagines an alternative version of 2017 in which Hillary Clinton was the commander-in-chief.
  • Actress Jennifer Garner is living her best post-divorce life… by walking a chicken. This isn’t a euphemism for anything; she literally has a pet chicken that she walks and feeds and grams. And the chicken’s name is Regina George, so points for the Mean Girls shoutout.

  • ​Stranger Things 2 launches a meme – simple in format, just entertaining, and if you watched, then you might have guessed, it’s Chief Hopper dancing
  • Former President Obama is just like us: he has jury duty. And gets dismissed! (Because really, which lawyer is going to say, “yes, I want former law professor – oh yeah, and PRESIDENT – Obama on my jury…”?)

What did we miss? What are YOU talking about this week? Tell us in your comments….

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