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My Isolation Diary

University of Tranquillum House

by Emily Vogel

(Source: Giphy)

This week, as students around the country returned to their college campuses, a group of nine city dwellers arrived at a secluded wellness retreat in Hulu’s “Nine Perfect Strangers.” Just like my freshman year at USC, the series follows a group of strangers – including a has-been athlete and an Instagram influencer with a Lamborghini driving boyfriend – who have been carefully selected in a rigorous admissions process. However, unlike at USC, I don’t think their application process involved photoshopping their faces onto waterpolo players… but who knows.

The fictional resort known as Tranquillum House even has attendants who function like dorm room RA’s, making sure everyone is well-behaved and following the rules. Of course, there’s always one of these resident advisors who is secretly smoking in their room and another trying to organize “fun” activities like potato sack races with the group.

Much like the guests, my freshman year of college was also the first time I had to forage for my own food. Granted, it wasn’t technically the wilderness, it was The Ronald Tudor Campus Center, and my dinner options varied between Panda Express Orange Chicken and a Think Thin bar. But compared to my mom’s homemade lasagna, this was the epitome of my caveman existence.

While my USC experience didn’t involve Nicole Kidman with a Russian accent, it did include a 5’11 blonde sorority rush chair named Krystal from Orange County, who was responsible for watching my every move. Much like Kidman’s character in the Hulu series, Krystal also claims to have died and come back to life. Except instead of a gunshot, Krystal’s resurrection included 2 for 1 shots at Cabo Cantina, a mechanical bull and a 2am Uber ride through the Taco Bell drive-thru.

And although in college I never had to actually dig my own grave, skipping midterms for Coachella cut it pretty close.

If “Nine Perfect Strangers” continues to mirror my college experience as it has thus far, then in the upcoming episodes we should expect a toga party, a commitment-phobic Sigma Chi named Rafe and a bad case of Mono. 

Sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson Finishes Last in Latest Race: ‘Talk All the S- You Want Because I’m Here to Stay’
(Credit: Getty Images)

Go off girl! Despite finishing last in the 100-meter dash at the Nike Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday, sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson clapped back at the haters, making it clear she's here to stay.

“I’m not upset with myself at all. This is one race. I’m not done, you know what I’m capable of,” Richardson said in a post-race interview. “Count me out if you want to, talk all the s— you want because I’m here to stay. I’m not done. I’m the sixth fastest woman in this game ever and can’t nobody ever take that from me.”

This was Richardson's first race after a month-long break that would’ve been her Olympics debut had she not been suspended for testing positive for marijuana on a drug test and kicked off Team USA.

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The Taliban Have Seized Control of Afghanistan. What Does that Mean for Women and Girls?
(Source: CNN)

As Taliban leaders tell international media they "don't want women to be victimized," a more sinister reality is unfolding on the ground.

Will girls go to school? Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said Monday that under their rule, girls would be allowed to study. However, there's a deep mistrust of the militants who caused such misery during their time in power— from 1996 to 2001  when girls and young women were forbidden to attend school.

Will women be allowed to work? The last time the Taliban ruled, women were banned from working. After the Islamist militants were driven from power in 2001, women were free to go to university and work. As of early 2021, 27% of the seats in the nation's Parliament were held by women. But as the Taliban and the US-backed Afghan government held peace talks over the past year, working women have been killed in a wave of attacks -- including the high-profile murder of three female journalists in March.

Will female journalists appear on TV? Female journalists will still be able to practice their profession as long as they adhere to rules such as wearing the niqab and not engaging with men outside of their family, one Taliban fighter told CNN on Monday.

Will women have freedom of movement? Previously women living under Taliban rule were banned from traveling without a male chaperone. And there have already been reports of militants again barring women from leaving their house without a mahram -- a male family member.

Read full CNN article here

Dove is Launching a Fund to Help Close the Gap in Care for Black Mothers
(Credit: Ariel Skelley/Getty)

Dove has long been committed to standing for diversity and inclusion, and in the past few years has doubled down on its support of the Black community by cofounding the Crown Coalition to advance the Crown Act—legislation that makes hair discrimination in schools and the workplace illegal.

Earlier this month the brand released the My Hair, My Crown initiative, which consists of workshops to help children feel confident with their natural hair texture. On Tuesday, the brand announced another: the Black Birth Equity Fund, an initiative intended to help close the gap in care for Black expectant mothers and their babies.

Per a press release, the fund will “provide immediate financial access to doula services for Black expecting mothers. The new fund forms part of the long-term commitments the brand is making to advance superior care, with and for, Black moms in partnership with leading advocacy groups like Black Mamas Matter Alliance.”

According to Dove, research shows that moms are two times less likely to experience birth complications with the help of a doula—which is crucial considering Black women die due to pregnancy complications at a rate of three to four times that of white women.

Read full Glamour article here

For the First Time in 65 Years, Camille A. Brown will be the First Black Woman to Direct and Choreograph a Broadway Show
(Credit: Josefina Santos via

Last week, it was announced that Camille A. Brown will direct the upcoming production of Ntozake Shange’s "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When The Rainbow is Enuf" on Broadway in 2022.

In more than 65 years, Brown is the first Black woman to serve as both director and choreographer of a Broadway production. The last Black woman to both direct and choreograph on Broadway was the great Katherine Dunham. 

"For Colored Girls," marks Brown's debut as a Broadway director. In 2019 she choreographed a critically acclaimed revival of the play at The Public Theater off-Broadway. She will continue in her role as choreographer on Broadway.

"For Colored Girls" tells the stories of seven women of color using poetry, song, and movement, recounting what it is like to live in a sexist, racist and fractured world. We witness humans and their pain, struggle, courage, passion, resilience, possibility and the desire for love.

Read full Forbes article here

Kathy Hochul Becomes New York's First Female Governor
(Credit: Hans Pennink/AP)

Kathy Hochul became the first female governor of New York at the stroke of midnight Tuesday, taking control of a state government desperate to get back to business after months of distractions over sexual harassment allegations against Andrew Cuomo.

For the first time, a majority of the most powerful figures in New York state government will be women, including state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Attorney General Letitia James and the chief judge, Janet DiFiore. The state Assembly is led by a man, Speaker Carl Heastie.

Since taking office, Hochul has announced the planned appointments of two top aides: Karen Persichilli Keogh will become Secretary to the Governor and Elizabeth Fine will be Hochul's chief legal counselor.

As Beyonce would say, "who runs the world?! [Or in this case, the state of New York.] Girls." 

Read full NPR article here

Who Run the World?! Girls.

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In the meantime, stay safe and stay fabulous.

Emily Vogel on behalf of WrapWomen
Director of Programming, TheWrap