J. Law on Earning Less Than the Boys, and Other Notes from the Week

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We’re pleased to bring you “While You Were Out,” the Verily editors’ quick takes on the happenings of this week.

ISIS Is Enslaving Women and Girls

This week in Verily Kyle Orton reported from the Middle East on the growing crisis for women and girls in the wake of ISIS. Read the full piece here, share it, and help bring greater awareness to a devastating reality. —Mary Rose Somarriba

Sexiest Woman Alive, Even Though She Doesn’t Like Being Objectified . . .

This week Esquire named Emilia Clarke the “sexiest woman alive,” showing the Game of Thrones actress on the magazine cover with nothing but a sheet covering her bum. That this revealing cover comes after Clarke herself has said she doesn’t want to do any more nudity in her work is, I believe, a testament to the pressures that women face to be sexualized in media. (Of course, I don’t know if this was photographed before or after she said that.) Which may also explain Taylor Swift’s recent GQ cover after she previously said she doesn’t care to be viewed as sexy. Suffice it to say that sex appeal is going strong, and media is a powerful influence. Still, we can overcome! —MRS

What Not to Tell a Girl When She Gets Hit by a Boy

A story that went viral this week all started with a mom whose daughter was hit by a boy at school. When checking in to the hospital to get stitches, the daughter was told by a well-meaning registration attendant: “I bet he likes you.” To which this mom says, “NO.” Read Monica Weigel’s insightful take on it here. —MRS

U.S. Surrogate Woman Dies with Twins

This week the first known American surrogate woman died due to complications in her pregnancy, losing her life and those of the twins she carried. While the story has gone unreported in mainstream outlets, Baleigh Scott dared to weigh in on the controversial issue this week at Verily, sparking a growing conversation about whether surrogacy is inherently exploitative of women. Wherever one stands on the issue, this, to me, is hard to deny: Once an exchange of money comes into the picture with the use of women’s bodies, we face a risk of exploitation. How much this particular woman Brooke faced may be unknown, but one thing is for sure: Her life was valuable, and her loss is significant. —MRS

Former American Idol Contestant Died

This week in other tragic news, former American Idol contestant and curvy model Joanne Borgella died at the young age of 32. Borgella was diagnosed with endometrial cancer a year ago and was strong until the end. “Her faith, courage, and strength were unshaken throughout every obstacle she encountered,” her family’s Facebook page stated. Our prayers and thoughts go to Borgella, her family, and all facing such debilitating challenges. —MRS

J. Law Bemoans the Wage Gap

Lena Dunham’s newsletter, Lenny, featured a piece by Jennifer Lawrence this week discussing what went through her mind when she found out that her male co-stars were paid more than her in American Hustle. Many women will be able to identify with her desire not to come across as “difficult” or “spoiled” by asking for a raise. Find out more in Baleigh Scott’s article for Verily this week. —Sophie Caldecott

Some Pretty Amazing Ladies Won the Nobel Prize This Year

Two incredible women won Nobel Prizes this year: Youyou Tu, for her contributions to a successful treatment for malaria, and investigative journalist Svetlana Alexievich, who won the Nobel Prize in literature. Both women battled the odds—which have always been stacked against anyone who is not a white man—to win. Read more about them both here. —SC

Playboy Stops Printing Nude Photos

And pigs can fly, you might say. Yes, it is true—Playboy has announced that, starting March 2016, it won’t be publishing fully nude photographs of women in the print magazine anymore. Find out more about why the company made this decision (hint: It’s not because they’ve seen the light about objectifying women and the bad effects of porn) in our article this week. —SC

Lamar Odom Hospitalized

This week saw headlines when former NBA player Lamar Odom, also known for being the former husband of Khloé Kardashian, was hospitalized after being found unconscious at a Nevada brothel. Odom had taken cocaine and as many as ten sexual performance–related supplements, which may have been the cause of his health complications. Physical health aside, we hope Odom gets the rehab and mental health treatment he needs as well. For saying to the brothel owner that he was trying to get away from something and not be found, he is clearly in a dark place and needs some help. —MRS

Speaking of Mental Health . . .

Recently NPR reported that millennials “tend to get a bad rap” where mental health is concerned. In an article this week for Verily, Maria Santos looks at the latest research and assesses the claim that our generation is plagued by anxiety and crippling narcissism. Read the full story here. —MRS