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This Week’s Signs of the Apocalypse

In January, an NBC News poll found that 72 percent of Americans say the country is headed in the wrong direction. Judging by what went down in the culture this week, they might be right.

IT IS SCIENTIFICALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO DEFINE “WOMAN”

In an analysis published Thursday by USA Today, enterprise reporter Alia Dastagir claimed “the science” is unsettled when it comes to defining the term, “woman.”

“Scientists agree there is no sufficient way to clearly define what makes someone a woman, and with billions of women on the planet, there is much variation,” Dastagir wrote in the piece, which was responding to a controversy sparked by a confirmation hearing Tuesday for Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Biden’s nominee to the Supreme Court.

  • Asked by Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., to provide a definition for the word “woman,” Jackson said she couldn’t, noting: “I’m not a biologist.”
  • “Scientists, gender law scholars and philosophers of biology said Jackson’s response was commendable, though perhaps misleading,” Dastagir wrote.
  • “It’s useful, they say, that Jackson suggested science could help answer Blackburn’s question, but they note that a competent biologist would not be able to offer a definitive answer either.”

THE DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE ACCUSED OF RACISM IN JAMAICA

Kate Middleton was accused of racism after footage surfaced Tuesday of the Duchess of Cambridge allegedly recoiling at the touch of Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment & Sport.

Middleton and her husband, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, are currently embarked on a tour of the Caribbean in celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee.

  • In other photos snapped during the trip Middleton is seen exchanging enthusiastic high-fives and handshakes with members of the public.

NYC PHOTOGRAPHER SPARKS OUTRAGE BY CHARGING MORE TO SHOOT FAT MODELS

In a video posted to TikTok last week, model Megan Mesveskas claimed New York City-based photographer Will Lords is being fatphobic by charging $100 extra to shoot plus-size and curvy models.

@meganmesveskas This is insane! A well known New York photographer shamelessly charges curve and plus size models an extra $100 for his dissatisfaction of having to look at them on set. #williamLords #curvemodel #Plussizefashion #plussize #plussizemodel ♬ original sound – Megan Mesveskas

Mesveskas’ video went viral on social media, and led to various calls to cancel Lords.

  • Lords defended his practice, telling the New York Post this week that his prices are for “test shoots” where he offers models access to a wardrobe of designer clothes.
  • The larger sizes are harder to come by and therefore more expensive.
  • “Getting those clothes is very difficult,” Lords said. “I need to charge a bit higher, because it’s hard to find anything. I go out there and buy the clothes with my own credit card for the models to wear as part of our package.”

NEWS SHOW EDITS PHOTO TO MAKE TRANSGENDER SWIMMER LOOK MORE FEMININE

A photojournalist says the “Today” show edited pictures of Lia Thomas to soften the transgender University of Pennsylvania swimmer’s likeness.

Erica Denhoff told the Washington Examiner on Wednesday she was “disappointed” by the show’s decision to alter images licensed from her for use in a segment last week about Thomas’ controversial participation in the NCAA Division 1 women’s swimming and diving championships.

  • “When I first noticed the airbrushing on the segment referenced, I thought something was honestly wrong with the video. But then, I watched it again and thought, ‘Wait a minute, this appears to be intentional. Lia’s features are softened,'” Denhoff said.
  • Thomas last Thursday became the first transgender athlete to claim a Division I national championship title in any sport, winning the 500-yard freestyle event.

“THEY CANCELLED A TREE”

While an overwhelming majority of the American public supports sanctioning Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, some wonder whether certain punitive measures have reached the level of absurdity.

Amid boycotts of Russian vodka in the U.S., cancelations of Russian artists and bans on Russian sports teams, organizers of the European Tree of the Year competition this week announced Russia’s submission to the event had been disqualified.

  • “We cannot stand idly by and watch the unprecedented aggression of the Russian leadership against a neighboring country,” the competition’s officials said in a statement.

WHITE MUSICIAN TOLD SHE CAN’T PERFORM AT CLIMATE CHANGE EVENT UNLESS SHE CUTS OFF HER DREADLOCKS

Citing their support for anti-racism, organizers of a Fridays for Future climate demonstration in Hannover disinvited a white performer over her dreadlocks.

Musician Ronja Maltzahn was slated to perform Friday, but was told by Fridays for Future activists that the show was off unless she sheared her locks.

  • “We were looking forward to being able to set an example for peace and against discrimination with our music. It’s a shame that we’re excluded from it because of external characteristics,” Maltzahn said Wednesday in an Instagram post responding to the development.
  • The event’s organizers eventually apologized for asking Maltzahn to chop off her hair.

A REASON FOR OPTIMISM

A dog allegedly abandoned by its owners for being gay was adopted Tuesday by a gay couple, TMZ reported.

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