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Here's a special Sunday roundup of a few of the lady-news stories we noticed people talking about last week. Tell us what stories you've been reading, thinking about and debating in your own life, too. As you all know, we love and encourage sharing around these here parts.
- Transgender high school student Cassidy Lynn Campbell made history on Friday by being crowned homecoming queen at Marina High School in Huntington Beach, Calif. Yes, this officially makes Campbell America's very first transgender homecoming queen. “I am so proud to win this not just for me, but everyone out there,” Campbell said after receiving her crown. Yay, and congrats.
- In horrible news, another young, unarmed black man was killed at the hands of police. Jonathan Ferrell, 24, had recently moved to North Carolina and gotten engaged. He was in a car crash early last Saturday morning, and ran to a nearby house for help. When the woman who lived there saw him at the door, she called the cops, assuming Ferrell was trying to break in (ugh). When police arrived, Ferrell ran toward them, and Officer Randall Kerrick shot him for no reason. Kerrick was arrested, released on bond, and charged with voluntary manslaughter.
- Five, count 'em, FIVE women swept the National Book Foundation's "Five Under 35" book awards last week. It's a sad day when the fact that WOMEN GETTING NOTICED FOR WRITING GREAT BOOKS is national news, but it happened, and it was. The winners were Molly Antopol (The UnAmericans), NoViolet Bulawayo (We Need New Names), Amanda Coplin (The Orchardist), Daisy Hildyard (Hunters in the Snow) and Merritt Tierce (Love Me Back).
- The University of Alabama came under fire recently for refusing to allow black women to join its sororities. After a big public outcry, last week the university President Judy Bonner released a video saying the school would now force the sororities to reopen their bid process to give the rejected women another chance. (But really, how many of those students will feel like dealing with going through Rush again, given the fact that the whole system was completely brazenly racist, like, last week?)
- The New York Times ran an op-ed by writer Joyce Maynard about her long-ago love affair with J.D. Salinger. When the couple lived together many moons ago, Maynard was in her late teens, and Salinger was 53 (!). Ew. Maynard's piece drew a lot of attention for portraying Salinger as, well, a perv -- and seducing young girls was a pattern for him. He might have been a good writer, but as Michelle Dean noted, "There are very few voices piping up in full defense of Salinger these days."
- A lovely Indian-American woman named Nina Davuluri was crowned Miss America last Sunday, prompting a rash of disgusting racist tweets. Davaluri shrugged off the haters: "I have to rise above that. I always viewed myself as first and foremost American."
- Something else Nina Davaluri-related that you may not have heard: Her loud and proud identity as a mega-geek -- she's admitted to loving "Star Wars" and "Star Trek." ALSO, her Miss America runner-up, Crystal Lee, just might be a geek herself -- she had a platform based on women in tech, and she interned at Dropbox. Nerds of the world, unite and take over.
- The New Yorker ran a long, detailed profile about Bustle.com founder and resident idiot Bryan Goldberg, who got rich off his sports website Bleacher Report but seems to have not the faintest of clues about how to successfully operate or promote a website for women. The poor sap has put his foot in his mouth so many times he's practically choking on it, and the New Yorker story only made him sound worse. The feminist blogosphere had a field day with the story, for good reason.