Be Awed and Inspired by the First Woman to Complete Stage 1 of American Ninja Warrior
Aimée Lutkin, Jezebel
Planet Earth, meet Supergirl — the flesh and blood real one. Jessie Graff, who has been a stunt person behind the TV show “Supergirl,” made history this week by becoming the first woman to complete Stage 1 on “American Ninja Warrior,” another TV show. Watch Graff, clad in a shiny green two-piece outfit, her blonde hair in a high bouncy ponytail, complete a ridiculously hard obstacle course with utter composure and authority. You won’t be able to help cheering with all the other women in the audience. Up, up and away!

From Bikinis to Burkinis, Regulating What Women Wear
Alissa J. Rubin, The New York Times
The controversy over France’s ban of the burkini, the all-covering swimsuit favored by conservative Muslim women, comes during the 70th anniversary of the ever-revealing bikini. The two-piece swimsuit was not only forbidden in some countries for decades for being immoral, women who wore them were forced to pay fines and leave many beaches. “Formally or informally, men (primarily) have been making rules about women’s attire for a very long time,” Rubin writes. Of course, the burkini controversy isn’t just about feminism, it is about French fear in the wake of terrorist attacks by radical Muslim jihadists and a desire to defend secularism. But as the debate about racism and Islam continues, it is worth questioning why women’s clothes and bodies are such a central battleground.

Bravest Entrepreneur: How the Fisherwoman Of Gaza Built A Business in the Blockaded Seaport
Elizabeth MacBride, Forbes
A decade ago when Madeleine Kulab was only 13, she took over her father’s fishing boat after he became disabled. To help feed her family, she defied cultural norms for Palestinian females to become the only girl working the waterfront. Today, she has two boats and a solid business in fishing and tours that cater to women and families. She employs five men in Gaza, one of the most difficult places in the world to be an entrepreneur. How did she do it? A loan from the Bank of Palestine to buy the boats helped, as did winning a spot in the bank’s mini-MBA program. But also, “I am brave and have good will,” she says.

Why Aren’t U.S. Police Departments Recruiting More Women?
Christina Asquith, The Atlantic
A body of research shows that the best way to reduce violence against women, sexual assault, rape and homicide is to hire more women police officers. That seems to be because women victims are more likely to report domestic violence to a woman officer, and women officers are more likely to take their reports seriously and follow up on them to prevent repeated violence. Even so, progress in getting more women on the job has floundered. In the U.S., women account for only about 13 percent of most police departments, and that level has not changed in almost two decades. Hiring more women officers, in fact, has been virtually ignored as a policy prescription in the recent push for more police diversity and improved policing. Why?


What are some of your favorite reads? Drop us a line and tell us about them at [email protected].