Update: Murder in Washington
The man who murdered a woman in Port Orchard, Washington was arrested. David Kalac, 33, admitted to strangling his girlfriend, 30-year-old Amber Coplin. Coplin also suffered blunt force trauma to the head. Kalac wrote in his confession, “I had no reason other than I was drunk and she pissed me off.” Kalac has been charged with “first-degree murder, domestic violence and a special allegation for aggravating circumstances due to the impact on persons other than the victim” and his bail is set at $2 million.
Tragedy in India
Eight women were killed and 70 were hospitalized following a sterilization procedure in India. The sterilization procedure, which took place in a government run “health camp,” was operated under unsanitary conditions. India is the world leader in sterilization procedures, with the primary focus on women. The practice goes back decades, when forced sterilization was offered as the answer to overpopulation. This tragedy “marks the largest loss of life during a sterilization drive in recent history.”
Honoring Sylvia Earle
Glamour magazine honored marine biologist Sylvia Earle during a Women of the Year ceremony this week. Earle was named the magazine’s explorer of the year and also received a lifetime achievement award. “Undaunted by a society that expected women to become nurses or flight attendants—never the doctor or pilot—Earle led the first team of women to live in an underwater habitat in 1970 as part of the Tektite Project. Submerged in 49 feet (15 meters) of water in Lameshur Bay on the island of St. John, the underwater station was dedicated to marine science research.” Other award recipients included comedian Mindy Kaling and women’s advocate Chelsea Clinton.
Mormons in the News
The following is a breakdown of a selection of stories from Mormon News Report. Be sure to check out more here.
Peggy Fletcher Stack of the Tribune reports that the LDS Church announced it is adding three free World War I collections to its FamilySearch site, containing information on millions of Americans and British citizens who both registered for and served in the military from 1914 to 1920, in honor of Veterans Day. FamilySearch collection manager Ken Nelson said that this collection “acts like a national census…because it includes over 24 million records representing almost half of the male population in the United States at the time.” The new FamilySearch data also include collections from the United Kingdom WWI Service Records 1914-1920 and the United Kingdom WWI Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Records 1917-1920. These two lists add more than 43 million images to FamilySearch’s growing military databases.
The LDS Church responded to media coverage about the polygamy essays by releasing a statement through Mormon Newsroom providing “additional context” to the essays. One of the statements caused a bit of a ruckus online: “Much of what you’ll find in the essays on polygamy has been published in diverse sources and known among long-term and well-read members, historians and Church leaders for many years.” The piece ends with the following quote: “We live in a world where there is so much information available on every topic. And particularly in the age of the Internet, there are both good and bad sources of information. As a Church, it’s important for us to research and provide official, reputable, historically accurate information about our history and doctrine.”
Friend-of-the-Report Jana Riess returns, this time talking with University of Texas sociologists Ryan Cragun and J. Sumerau about their research on Mormon women and gender roles in the LDS Church. According to Riess, “The article is interesting, pointing out that every time Mormon leaders emphasize the fragility of womanhood, they undermine the notion that femininity is innate. If “outside forces are capable of corrupting godly womanhood,” then such statements “granted credence to the notion that gender itself was a social, rather than a godly, construction.” In our conversation, Dr. Cragun asked what this means in Mormon discourse: “What does that really tell us, if they are saying that gender is innate, but that it also has to be taught? But at the end of the day the leaders know it’s not actually innate because they insist on teaching it.” This apparent double-speak was the most surprising finding of the sociologists’ research into Mormon gender.”
ICYMI on YMF
November 6- a young folk’s history of the church: the mack family
November 7- date from hell: comfy chairs and the voice in my head that was right
November 9- sunday spotlight: samantha
November 20—Transgender Day of Remembrance
Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), which occurs annually on 20 November, is a day to memorialize those who have been killed as a result of transphobia, or the hatred or fear of transgender and gender non-conforming people, and acts to bring attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community.
The Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded in 1998 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a trans woman who is a graphic designer, columnist, and activist, to memorialize the murder of Rita Hester in Allston, Massachusetts. Since its inception, TDoR has been held annually on 20 November, and has slowly evolved from the web-based project started by Smith into an international day of action. In 2010, TDoR was observed in over 185 cities throughout more than 20 countries.
To find a TDoR event location near you, visit http://tdor.info/
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Lindsey loves listening to indie rock, watching movies, reading comics, traveling, and designing geeky graphics. She is an alumnus of BYU-Idaho and Bond University in Australia, where she received her master’s degree in communication. She currently lives in Rexburg, Idaho.