Top Five on Friday

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Top Five on Friday

By Katie Stanton
Social Media & Online Engagement Manager, YWCA USA

Today, we’re starting a new weekly tradition on the YWCA USA blog. Each Friday, we’ll post the five most important, need-to-know, must-read stories from around the Web to share with you. These stories are the ones that made us think, that taught us something new, and that reflected how our mission – to eliminate racism and empower women – in current events.

Top Five on Friday

Seneca Falls. (Image by Doug Kerr.)
Seneca Falls. (Image by Doug Kerr.)

1. This Friday marks 165th anniversary since Seneca Falls, a gathering of women and men that became one of the most important events in the history of women’s rights, and is of particular importance this year after the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Voting Rights Act.

165 Years Since Seneca Falls: Continuing to Organize for Equality by Elisabeth MacNamara, President of the League of Women Voters of the United States

“The most controversial part of the Declaration of Sentiments, which delineated 11 resolutions on women’s rights, was its call for the right to vote for women… Even Lucretia Mott, who organized the Seneca Falls Convention with Stanton, begged Stanton not to include women’s suffrage among the resolutions. “Why, Lizzie, thee will make us ridiculous!” Mott worried. But Cady Stanton refused to back down. “I persisted,” she later wrote, “for I saw clearly that the power to make the laws was the right through which all other rights could be secured.”

2. In Massachusetts, domestic violence workers are implementing a new system for preventing domestic homicide: targeting the men who are most likely to commit violence, and turning the usual approach to abusive relationships upside down.

A RAISED HAND: Can a new approach curb domestic homicide? by Rachel Louise Snyder, New Yorker. (If you are not a New Yorker subscriber, read a summary of the article via Slate)


“Dorothy Giunta-Cotter knew that someday her husband, William, would kill her. They met in 1982, when he was twenty and she was fifteen: a girl with brown eyes and cascading dark hair. Over the course of twenty years, he had kidnapped her, beaten her, and strangled her with a telephone cord. When she was pregnant with their second child, he pushed her down the stairs. After visits to the emergency room, he withheld her pain medicine and, at one point, forbade her to wear a neck brace.”

3. The feel-good story of the week: five teens in Pennsylvania helped save a five-year-old girl from a kidnapping. This story both raised our spirits and made us think, as this week’s national media conversation was dominated by the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin. (Read a post from the YWCA’s own Qudsia Jafree about that verdict, and about racial identity.)

Hero teens save 5-year-old by chasing kidnapper on their bikes, by Philip Caulfield, New York Daily News

“A group of heroic Pennsylvania teens helped save a 5-year-old girl when they chased down her kidnapper’s car on their bikes.

Jocelyn Rojas was snatched from her grandmother’s front yard in Lancaster Township on Thursday afternoon, sending police and K-9 units on a frantic, door-to-door search across the southeastern Pennsylvania hamlet.”

4. In May, Cheerios released a commercial featuring an interracial couple and their daughter; it was met with outrage. In this wonderful video, kids share why interracial relationships, in advertising and otherwise, are no big deal.

The Best Thing You’ll See All Day: Kids React To Interracial Cheerios Commercial (VIDEO), by Christina Coleman, Global Grind

“The findings from this very non-scientific but brilliant experiment? Racism is stupid.”

5. In 1911, the state of women’s equality looked very similar to how it does today. We must continue to work towards equal pay, workplace flexibility that empowers women to succeed, and policies that will ensure equality in both the workplace and at home.

4 Women’s Issues That Haven’t Changed Since 1911, by Julie Zeilinger for the Huffington Post

“1. Men dominate many of the most esteemed professional fields — and get paid more for their work.

“It is a fact that women teachers, doctors, lawyers, architects, and engineers are neither met with the same confidence as their male colleagues, nor receive equal remuneration,” Goldman wrote. Today, women are still severely underrepresented in many fields — especially in leadership positions.”

If you have a story that needs to be shared, let us know! Leave a link in the comments or send us a Tweet at @YWCAUSA.