Taylor Swift repeatedly caused voter registrations to skyrocket after viral Instagram post

Taylor Swift encouraged all 112 million of her Instagram followers to go out and vote in the midterm elections on November 6th. Data from Vote.org show that Swift’s post has already made an impact. tswift.1539106484336

“We are up to 65,000 registrations in a single 24-hour period since T. Swift’s post,” Kamari Guthrie, director of communications for Vote.org told Buzzfeed. 190,178 new voters were registered nationwide in the entire month of September, while 56,669 were registered in August. One viral instagram post thanks to Miss Swift has increased more voters in one day than an entire month.

Swift usually remains silent about political issues, but she felt compelled to speak out “due to several events in my life and in the world the past two years.”

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I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent. I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway. So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting! 🗳😃🌈

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Swift even used her AMA acceptance speech as a way to encourage people to vote, reminding people that the awards won by everyone were voted on by the people just like the midterm elections.

The elections will be here before we know it, so if you aren’t registered to vote check out this map to see when the deadline is in your state to register and then head over to Vote.org to register.

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California just passed a law requiring more women on cooperate boards, and here’s why it matters

Women hold only 18% of position on the boards at 3,000 of the biggest companies in the U.S. A year ago, there were 624 public companies with no woman on their boards at all. Thanks to California’s law that just passed, these statistics are going to change.

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Democratic Gov., Jerry Brown, signed California Senate Bill 826 on Sunday which will require publicly held companies in California to have a minimum of one woman on their boards of directors by the end of 2019. From then on, women board members will only have to increase: By the end of 2021, companies must have at least two women on boards that have a total of five members and companies with six or more members must have at least three women on boards.

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California Governor, Jim Brown Flickr — Phil Konstantin

The new law may have business groups questioning the legality of the state imposing these requirements on cooperations, especially those incorporated in other states. But in his signing letter to the U.S. Senate’s Judiciary Committee, Gov. Brown made reference to the committee’s recommendation of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court to the full Senate despite testimony by a woman who said he groped her when they were in high school.

The letter from Brown says:

 

“There have been numerous objections to this bill and serious legal concerns have been raised,’’ Brown said in a statement. “I don’t minimize the potential flaws that indeed may prove fatal to its ultimate implementation. Nevertheless recent events in Washington, D.C. — and beyond — make it crystal clear that many are not getting the message.”

According to the Associated Press, companies that fail to comply can be fined $100,000 for a first violation and $300,000 for a second or subsequent violation.

Evidence suggests that it’s good for a business to have more gender and racial diversity in the boardroom. Even a Peterson Institute study found that the presence of women on cooperate boards may contribute to a firm performance, and that increasing women leaders from none to only a 30% representation lead to a 15% jump in profit.

While these may not seem like huge percentages, this law would mean 684 women would be needed to fill board seats for publicly traded companies that rank among the nation’s 3,000 largest along with the many other women that would have to fill the seats for the smaller companies, Annalisa Barrett, a clinical professor of finance at the University of San Diego’s School of Business, told the Los Angeles Times.

If we just waited around for boardrooms to eventually become diverse, than we would be waiting for approximately 40 years until companies will reach parity with men according to the Government Accountability office. This law is helping to make an effort in finally closing the gender gap in business.

She’s Changing the World: Day 5

Awkwafina – The “It” Girl

What a year for Awkwafina. Not only did she star in some of this years biggest films aka Ocean’s 8 and Crazy Rich Asians, but she’s even going to be the first Asian female to host Saturday Night Live in nearly 20 years on October 6th.

The last Asia woman to host SNL was Lucy Lui back in 2000 with musical guest Jay-Z.

SNL announced the big news yesterday on Twitter, and fans (including Seth Meyers) were so excited for her. She even posted the announcement on her Instagram, saying she’s “supremely stoked”.

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Awkafina, a known vocal advocate for for Asian-American representation in media, told NBC News after making her film debut in “Neighbors 2” back in 2016, “A lot of Asian people are on college campuses, so it’s really nice to be a part of a film that accurately represents that.”

Even in a more recent interview with Today, she explains how being Asian-American can be difficult because you have an “at home” identity and a totally different identity when you leave your home.

If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s the fact that my eyes will be glued to the tv on October 6th at 11:30 p.m. seeing what SNL has prepared for the show.

She’s Changing the World: Day 4

Jodie Whittaker – The “Doctor” 

If you’re familiar with the British sci-fi show Doctor Who, then you’re familiar with the fact that every single doctor has been a male… up until now. BBC announced back in July the Thirteenth Doctor would be portrayed by Jodie Whittaker, making her the first ever woman doctor in the shows 55-year history.

Whittaker is no stranger to the spotlight, she has portrayed Beth Latimer on the series Broadchurch for several years, and even premiered in the popular series Black Mirror. Whittaker will be reunited with Chris Chibnall, the creator of Broadchurch, whom is now Doctor Who’s new head writer and executer producer.

BBC announced that the premiere of the new season will be broadcasted on Oct. 7, 1:45 pm, ET, the same moment the episode begins in the UK.

Fans originally met Whittaker in the past year’s Christmas special when the Twleth Doctor, Peter Capaldi, regenerated to her. While some fans were praising the change, others were disappointed in the new change.

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Whittaker does not let the negative comments effect her, which only proves that she’s going to make an incredible doctor.

I’ll admit, she’s no David Tennant, but she is giving me something new and exciting to look forward to.

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She’s Changing the World: Day 3

Tarana Burke – The Silence Breaker

It’s been almost a year since the #MeToo movement began, which came from multiple women accusing Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment for decades. But even way before 2017, #MeToo existed thanks to one courageous woman.

Tarana Burke founded the movement in 2006 as a way to help survivors of sexual violence, herself included, find ways to heal. It used the idea of “empowerment through empathy” as a way to help women feel as if they were not alone while going through their healing process. Particularly targeted for young women of color from low wealth communities, the movement quickly went viral in less than six months and sparked a vital conversation on the importance of recognizing sexual violence.

Alyssa Milano revived the #MeToo movement on Twitter and since then, many other celebrities followed. Some of the women that broke their silence won TIME’s Person of the Year in 2017, including Burke.

While #MeToo is still an ongoing conversation, #WhyIDidntReport is now being brought to attention, following Trumps attack on Christine Blasey Ford. Thousands shared their stories of sexual assault or harassment and why they didn’t report them to the police, including celebrities like Lili Reinhart and Padma Lakshmi.

I love living in a time where woman are finally empowering other woman.  To all the strong women who are breaking their silence, we all applaud you for your strength and courage. For once, let’s let our voices be heard.

 

She’s Changing the World: Day 2

Weam Al Dakheel –  The Anchor

She helped Saudi Arabia mark yet another milestone for women by becoming the first woman to deliver an evening newscast on state-owned television. She went live on Thursday night on Saudi TV Channel 1, delivering the news along her co-anchor, Omar Al Nashwan. She made it seem like she was born for this role, anchoring in a very professional and natural manner.

Al Dakheel began working for the channel this year, and previously worked for CNBC Arabia. She had prior experience as an anchor on Al-Arab, a Bahrain-based news channel.

People could not be more proud of her groundbreaking appearance since woman in the country are typically known for covering morning newscasts and even cooking shows according to Khaleej Times.

Her new role comes one year after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announces his “Vision 2030” plan to make the kingdom more modern. As a result, it would move towards a more inclusive Saudi Arabia and aim to increase the percentage of women in the nation’s workforce from 22 to 30 perfect by 2030.

This may be a baby step for Saudi Arabia, but it is one step closer to giving woman more freedom.

She’s Changing the World: Day 1

From Oprah, the first woman to own and produce her own talk show, to Lori Robinson, the first woman to lead a top tier U.S. Combat Command, women are proving that they can change the world too. Let’s take a look at one of TIME’s first women leaders:

The Showrunner – Shonda Rhimes 

If you’re a fan of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, or even How to Get Away With Murder then you know who Shonda Rhimes is. Being the creator of Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice and Scandal, and the executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder, she is the first woman to create three hit shows with more than 100 episodes each.

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Shonda Rhimes – photo credit: Cook/WWD/REX/Shutterstock

When Grey’s Anatomy made its debut in 2005, no one thought the show would still be on air 13 years later. The  show introduced us to characters everyone would forever love, even after their disappearance. In an interview with TIME, Rhimes says before writing, she was never really into watching much tv, but she knew she wanted to create characters that would keep people watching her shows. Oh Shonda, you really knew how to make that happen. 

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Meredith Grey, played by Ellen Pompeo (left) and Cristina Yang, played by Sandra Oh (right) – Photo: ABC/Getty Images

The dynamic duo — Meredith Grey and Cristina Yang — surprised Shonda whenever she discovered that people thought the two were revolutionary. They were women who were created to be less like the “nice” women in tv aka the women who were more interested in being mothers than they were in their jobs.

This Thursday, September 27th marks the award-winning show’s 15th season, making it ABC’s longest running primetime drama ever and also making it tied with ER as TV’s longest-running medical drama.

Ellen Pompeo aka Meredith Grey recently hinted she may leave the show after season 16 telling Entertainment Weekly, “I’m clearly not prepared right now to make any formal announcement about what my future is on the show, but I am really feeling like we have told the majority of the stories that we can tell.” Pompeo says she’s looking for a change. This would be the end of two-year contract extension she signed, which made her the highest paid TV actress, earning more than $20 million per year.

Rhimes admitted she’s written several series finales for Grey’s, only to have the show continue on with the next season. “I have written the end of the show at least six times,” Rhimes told EW. “But we just don’t end. Every time, I thought, ‘This is how the show should end,’ we’ve gone past those moments, so I’ve stopped trying.”

Grey’s has yet to pick up season 16, so for now, let’s not even worry about the end. Let’s just enjoy the fact that the season 15 premiere is so right around the corner, and in case you forgot how excited you were for the return, take (another) look at what’s to come: