Join us on the HBR News show as we look at the news of the week, including a man who was forced to pay child support for a sperm-jacked baby, women in Canadian government who tackle the real issue of dress codes for women, more news about the male pill, and more! Tune in @6pm Eastern!
Contracts Don’t Matter Anymore During Divorce
John Terrell might be on the hook for some embryos that his ex-wife wants to use to have children. In 2014, his ex-wife Ruby Torres was diagnosed with breast cancer and was told that she wouldn’t become pregnant after chemotherapy. The couple decided top preserve some embryos so that she could become a mother a future time. Originally Terrell was reluctant to give his sperm to fertilize the embryos. He agreed because Torres might not have been able to conceive after her chemotherapy. As it turns out, a contract was signed when the embryos were fertilized that both parents would need to provide “express, written consent” for the embryos to be used. Torres acknowledged as much during the divorce. The Arizona court rules 2-1 against Terrell, which would allow the embryos to be used, leaving him potentially on the hook for child support. The dissenting Judge Maria Elena Cruz wrote that “Do contracts matter? I believe they do. Therefore, because the contract of these parties explicitly prohibits the outcome reached by the majority, and because it is outside our purview to reweigh the evidence, I would affirm the trial court’s judgment, or, in the alternative, remand the matter to the trial court for a new weighing of the parties’ interests.” Arizona legislators have passed a law, which will not apply to Terrell’s case, which requires “that viable embryos from a divorced couple be awarded to the parent who will allow a child to be born” and that “the other parent has no rights or obligations.”
Dress-code Enforced in Government Building: Wahmans Affected Most
So the poor wahman’s at British Columbia legislature have been told to dress more appropriately when they come to work in short-sleeved styles. The legislature has enforced a dress-code for decades but last week several female reporters and political staffers showed up to work at the B.C. Legislature in short sleeves in a"bare-arms" protest.
The brave souls, one a senior government staffer, say they’ve been stopped in the hallways by security guards in the past and told to cover up or that they were dressed inappropriately.
Shannon Waters, a reporter, was one of the participants. "It seems really silly to me. I don't think that what I'm wearing is unprofessional or distracting. I think we all present ourselves professionally at all times really," she said. Waters added it's objectionable that somehow a woman's arms are inappropriate or unprofessional.
Deputy Premier Carole James, also protesting the dress-code that apparently only affects wahman said: "I think we all know this is a professional environment and people dress for business clothing in the workplace, and I think it's ridiculous that we have people policing that."
From CBC News:
“Speaker Darryl Plecas has called for a review of the dress code, but as it stands, the current rules of no short sleeves policy will continue.
it states that "the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia has consistently applied a "conservative contemporary approach" to dress codes in the Parliament Buildings, as first articulated in a decision of Deputy Speaker Davidson on July 21, 1980.
"For an individual who identifies as a woman, this would typically include a business suit, dress with sleeves or a skirt with a sweater or blouse; jackets or cardigans are not necessarily required."
By Mike J.
New hope has appeared for men seeking a contraceptive on the same level as female birth control pills. An experimental oral drug, which so far has only been named 11-beta-MNTDC, has completed phase 1 clinical trials. The trial, which included 40 men and lasted one month, saw generally positive results and little side effects. Endocrinologist Stephanie Page from the University of Washington, who is a researcher on the study, explains how the pill works, "[T]estosterone production is shut down in the testes, the androgen action in the rest of the body maintains 'maleness' elsewhere, supporting things like male pattern hair, deep voice, sex drive and function, and lean body mass." While this trial did confirm that the drug appears safe for regular use, it's effectiveness has yet to be trialed. Reproduction Biologist at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, Christina Wang explains, "This study is very short and we need three months if not more to stop sperm production...All we have shown so far is that it shuts down the hormones that control the function of the testes." Follow-up trials for 11-beta-MNTDC are already being planned, if everything goes according to plan a safe male contraceptive pill could be available in 10 years.
Cardi B? More Like Larceny
By Mike J.
Much buzz was generated recently when a video surfaced featuring "rapper" Cardi B bragging about drugging and robbing men. Cardi B, whose real name is Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, states in the livestream from 2016, "I had to go strip, I had to go, ‘Oh yeah, you want to f— me? Yeah, yeah, yeah, let’s go back to this hotel,’ and I drugged n—– up, and I robbed them. That’s what I used to do." The criticism from social media was quick to follow with former fans creating the hashtag campaign #SurvivingCardiB, a parody of the Surviving R. Kelly documentary. After getting a considerable amount push-back, Almánzar responded to her critics on Instagram stating, "So I’m seeing on social media that a live I did 3 years ago has popped back up. A live where I talked about things I had to do in my past right or wrong that I felt I needed to do make a living...I never claim to be perfect or come from a perfect world wit [sic] a perfect past I always speak my truth — I always own my s—." However Almánzar did back track on the claims from the 2016 video stating, "The men I spoke about in my live were men that I dated that I was involve[d] with, men that were conscious, willing and aware. I have a past that I can’t change — we all do."
Hateful Hate-Watch Group Harbors Hateful Individuals
The Southern Poverty Law Center is being accused of having a "systemic culture of racism and sexism within its workplace." This comes after allegations over its treatment of minority and female employees. CNN interviewed some of the current employees with complaints.
One of the anonymous employees told CNN that the SPLC suffers from "pervasive racist culture" where qualified African American employees are passed over for promotion and that her boss “only hires white people”. She said the environment is also one in which a woman is not seen or heard.
Another employee said “We are so divided. I want to see us rise through the ashes. The white males here who are calling the shots can't ruin us."
The SPLC fired co-founder Morris Dees last month for “inappropriate conduct” and launched an external review of workplace culture. Last week, SPLC President Richard Cohen Cohen, stepped down himself after more than 30 years with the center. "We've heard from our staff that we need to do a better job of making sure that our workplace embodies the values we espouse -- truth, justice, equity, and inclusion," Cohen said in a statement.
Another employee told CNN the allegations of misconduct were "greatly exaggerated." "I'm completely happy here," the employee said. "We have many women in leadership." Another SPLC employee contradicts the complaints, saying Dees was a "scapegoat" for the company's problems.