Happy Wednesday! It’s such an interesting news week so far. On Wednesday night, the midterm elections took place. I have highlights and will have some more details on Friday, when the votes are all finalized. Spoiler alert: You’ll be able to celebrate with some legal marijuana. I also have the lowdown on what’s going on with Lena Dunham, as well as some updates on previous stories from the past few weeks about Brittany Maynard and Kaci Hickox. And some news about Taylor Swift’s latest breakup -- with Spotify.
What do you think of Lena Dunham’s response to the media’s reaction to her book? Appropriate? Not enough? Should she even have to apologize? Debate in the comments or tweet me @AmandaLauren.
Lena Dunham Responds To Sexual Abuse Allegations
Lena Dunham has been under hot water for some of the things she’s said in her recently released memoir, "Not That Kind of Girl." Many media outlets have called her a predator, among other things. A portion of the excerpt in question is below,
Do we all have uteruses?” I asked my mother when I was seven.
“Yes,” she told me. “We’re born with them, and with all our eggs, but they start out very small. And they aren’t ready to make babies until we’re older.” I look at my sister, now a slim, tough one-year-old, and at her tiny belly. I imagined her eggs inside her, like the sack of spider eggs in Charlotte’s Web, and her uterus, the size of a thimble.
“Does her vagina look like mine?”
“I guess so,” my mother said. “Just smaller.”
One day, as I sat in our driveway in Long Island playing with blocks and buckets, my curiosity got the best of me. Grace was sitting up, babbling and smiling, and I leaned down between her legs and carefully spread open her vagina. She didn’t resist and when I saw what was inside I shrieked.
My mother came running. “Mama, Mama! Grace has something in there!”
My mother didn’t bother asking why I had opened Grace’s vagina. This was within the spectrum of things I did. She just got on her knees and looked for herself. It quickly became apparent that Grace had stuffed six or seven pebbles in there. My mother removed them patiently while Grace cackled, thrilled that her prank had been a success.
Dunham insists she is not a child molester or predator, and she released the following response to the media:
I am dismayed over the recent interpretation of events described in my book Not That Kind of Girl.
First and foremost, I want to be very clear that I do not condone any kind of abuse under any circumstances.
Childhood sexual abuse is a life-shattering event for so many, and I have been vocal about the rights of survivors. If the situations described in my book have been painful or triggering for people to read, I am sorry, as that was never my intention. I am also aware that the comic use of the term “sexual predator” was insensitive, and I’m sorry for that as well.
As for my sibling, Grace, she is my best friend, and anything I have written about her has been published with her approval.
Brittany Maynard Dies With Dignity
On November 1, Brittany Maynard, 29, ended her life at home, in her own bed, surrounded by friends and family. Brittany was diagnosed in January 2014 with a glioblastoma (brain tumor). In April, she was given only six months to live. Maynard moved her family from California to Oregon, so she could self-administer physician prescribed barbiturates to end her own life legally, under “death with dignity” laws. Prior to her death, she posted the following message on her Facebook.
“Goodbye to all my dear friends and family that I love. Today is the day I have chosen to pass away with dignity in the face of my terminal illness, this terrible brain cancer that has taken so much from me … but would have taken so much more. The world is a beautiful place, travel has been my greatest teacher, my close friends and folks are the greatest givers. I even have a ring of support around my bed as I type … Goodbye world. Spread good energy. Pay it forward!”
Taylor Swift Is Probably Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together With Spotify
She’s just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it off with the streaming music service Spotify because she pulled her all of her music off the site/app (with the exception of the song "Safe & Sound" from "The Hunger Games" soundtrack). Let’s make one thing clear, Swift and her label, Big Machine Label (yes, that’s the actual name of the label) were never all that into Spotify like ever. In 2012, she held her album "Red," off the service for 120 days. Then fellow label mates Rascal Flatts and Brantley Gilbert followed suit and held their albums off of Spotify for 60 days.
Back in July, Swift wrote an onion piece for the Wall Street Journal where she made her view on streaming services quite clear:
Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for. It's my opinion that music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album's price point is. I hope they don't underestimate themselves or undervalue their art.
Piracy, file sharing and streaming have shrunk the numbers of paid album sales drastically. People are still buying albums, but now they're buying just a few of them.
Spotify was clearly hurt by the break up and issued their own statement.
We hope she'll change her mind and join us in building a new music economy that works for everyone. We believe fans should be able to listen to music wherever and whenever they want, and that artists have an absolute right to be paid for their work and protected from piracy.
Spotify started a #justsayyes hashtag campaign on Twitter.
We were young when we first saw you but now there’s 40MM who say stay, stay, stay. It’s a love story baby #justsayyes
The company also added that they give 70% of their revenue back to the music industry. However, a lot of musicians have said they don’t really benefit financially from streaming their music.
Still, Swift fans should fear not. If you buy the CD for $10 on Amazon, you can use the AutoRip feature to download the album for free, instead of paying $12.50 for the MP3 only. Yes, this seems counterintuitive, but long story short, digital prices are negotiated separately.
Midterm Election Highlights
· If you enjoy recreational marijuana and live in Washington D.C, congrats, it’s legal! Supporters had a 65-29.5 percent lead as of 9:09 p.m. EST, with 20,727 voting in favor.
· Recreational marijuana was also legalized in Guam. (Do any xoJane readers live in Guam?)
· Florida voted not to legalize medical marijuana.
· Maura Healey of Massachusetts is the first openly gay attorney general in the country.
· Republicans extend their control of the house majority.
· Kaci Hickox, the nurse that came back from West Africa, who felt she was being unjustly quarantined for Ebola, reached a settlement with the state of Maine, which will allow her to travel freely, as long as she self-monitors her condition. These rules will remain in effect until November 10, which is the end of her self-quarantine.
· Hate waiting in line for your grande skinny vanilla soy latte (okay, that’s my drink and I do)? You might be in luck because Starbucks will launch a delivery service in the second half of 2015. It’s been reported (but unconfirmed) that there will be a $25 minimum charge and the service will be first be available in New York City. There will be an order function on the app, so the caffeine-deprived can order from their smartphones.
· Over 13 years after being destroyed by terrorists, One World Trade Center is officially open for business in New York. Dubbed the “World’s Safest Office Building,” it has been nearly 60% rented by a variety of tenants including Condé Nast.