237284412.JPGConspicuous by Their Presence
RACIAL prejudice in the fashion industry has long persisted because of tokenism and lookism. “We already have our black girl,” says a designer to a fashion-show casting agent, declining to see others. Or: “She doesn’t have the right look.” Laziness, paranoia and pedantry may also have something to do with the failure to hire black models for shows and magazine features in any meaningful number, but, hey, that’s just a guess. A decade ago the thing to deplore was the stereotyping of black models by dressing them in African-inspired clothes (or the Asian girls in kimonos). This at least gave work to minority models, but it also encouraged a Western view of African culture of the many-bangles-many-beads variety. (Continue Reading…)

Rape is a way of life for Darfur’s women
Sudan’s Darfur crisis has exploded on many fronts — violence, hunger, displacement and looting — but United Nations peacekeepers say the biggest issue now affecting the region is the systematic rape of women and children. Thousands of women as young as 4 caught in the middle of the struggle between rebel forces and government-backed militias have become victims of rape, they say, with some aid groups claiming that it is being used as a weapon of ethnic cleansing. “That is one of the biggest issues in Darfur: the rapes, and crimes against women and children,” said Michael Fryer, police commissioner of UNAMID, the United Nations peacekeeping force deployed to try to tackle the violence. (Continue Reading…)

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