On This Day, Dec. 3: U.S. military opens all combat roles to women

Dec. 3 (UPI) — On this date in history:

In 1818, Illinois was admitted as the 21st state in the United States.

In 1833, Oberlin College in Ohio, the first truly coeducational college in the United States, opened with an enrollment of 29 men and 15 women.

In 1929, the Ford Motor Co. raised the pay of its employees from $6 to $7 a day despite the collapse of the U.S. stock market.

In 1967, Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the first successful heart transplant at Cape Town, South Africa.

In 1984, poison gas leaked at a Union Carbide pesticide factory in Bhopal, India, in the world’s worst chemical disaster. Death toll estimates varied widely. Government officials said about 3,000 people died shortly after the leak and many thousands more in the months and years ahead.

UPI File Photo

In 1989, U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev declared the Cold War over during a summit in Malta. Some historians believe the Cold War didn’t end until 1991, though, when the Soviet Union collapsed.

In 1992, the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to authorize sending a U.S.-led multinational force to Somalia.

In 1997, delegates from 131 countries met in Canada to sign the Convention on the Prohibition, Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines.

In 2006, Hugo Chavez, an outspoken critic of U.S. President George W. Bush and U.S. foreign policy, was re-elected for a third term as president of Venezuela.

File Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI

In 2009, Comcast, the largest cable operator in the United States, bought 51 percent of NBC Universal from General Electric for $13.75 billion.

In 2013, a federal judge ruled that Detroit was eligible for the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

In 2015, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced all combat roles in the U.S. armed forces would be opened to women.

In 2017, astronauts on the International Space Station held the first pizza party in space.

In 2019, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris withdrew from the 2020 race, citing a lack of campaign funds. She was ultimately elected as vice president in the race.

File Photo by Tami Chappell/UPI

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The Melanin Project showcases the beauty of Black skin while working to combat colorism

On Sept. 13, a group of beautiful Black models, wearing black undergarments, posed together for photographers at Riverside Park in Hartford. The photographs that came out of that shoot show a stunning array of skin tones, from light to dark like a rainbow of brown skin.


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The photographs – which can be seen on Instagram – are part of The Melanin Project. The Hartford-based initiative unites Connecticut Black photographers, videographers, art directors, stylists and models to showcase the beauty of Black women and the visual artistry of their Black collaborators.

Kareem Clark, a Hartford photographer who founded The Melanin Project, remembers fashion magazines his mother read when he was young. He still has a few of them tucked away in his home.

“I look at them today. What stands out more than anything else is the Caucasian models. If there was a shoot of four women or four people, there’s only one African American model and the rest are Caucasian,” Clark said. “It’s the same thing over and over again. It’s very repetitive.”

Racial representation in modeling has improved in recent years, Clark acknowledged, but he founded the project to focus exclusively on what he considers to be underappreciated beauty, of dark skin as well as natural hair and a wide variety of body types.

“All models are tall. No one is ever 5-8 or 5-5,” he said. “A lot of times models miss opportunities in the industry because everyone tells them their height doesn’t match what they are looking for.”

He also wants people to know these artists live and work in Connecticut. “People outside Connecticut think of us as a sleepy state. But there’s a lot going on here people don’t know about,” Clark said.

In the Riverside Park images, photographed by James Roundtree, women as slender, young and tall as traditional models pose alongside women who defy traditional model body types. They are shorter, heavier, older. Each has her own unique beauty, some with tattoos and piercings, cornrows, dreadlocks or Afros, one with bright orange hair.

Travis Bivans, a Windsor native who runs the LJE modeling agency in Brooklyn, N.Y., is a founding member of The Melanin Project. He art-directed the shoot at Riverside Park. Models were told not to wear makeup, so their natural allure shines through.

Bivans said the historical preference for white faces gave rise to a generation of photographers who don’t know how to deal with Blackness, or who try to make Black faces look more like white faces.

“Photographers who made a career of photographing Caucasian faces don’t know how to edit Black faces,” Bivans said. “You’ll also see things like if a nose is too broad they give us a new nose. If hair is too thick, they straighten the strands out. These are the intricacies of racial intolerance in artistic creation.”

Clark said this extends to filmmakers also. “When it comes to the lighting, whenever a person of color is in the scene, it doesn’t complement us very

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Yves Saint Laurent Beauty Launches “Abuse is Not Love”, a Global Program which Aims to Help Combat Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)

PARIS, Nov. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — In the lead-up to the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Nov. 25, 2020, Yves Saint Laurent Beauty has launched Abuse is Not Love, a new global program aimed at helping to combat Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) by supporting the prevention programs of its non-profit partners. IPV is a major societal issue: approximately 1 in 3 women will experience Intimate Partner Violence in their lifetime1 and only a small proportion of survivors will obtain justice.

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is one of the most common forms of violence against women and includes physical, sexual, financial, and emotional abuse, as well as controlling behaviors by an intimate partner. In the United States, United Kingdom and France, one woman is killed by her partner every three days.2 Globally, more than 600 million women are living in a country where Intimate Partner Violence is not considered a crime. Intimate Partner Violence affects individuals from all socioeconomic, religious, and cultural groups;3 however, women are most at risk, with the highest rates seen among young adults aged 16-24.4 

Intimate Partner Violence prevalence rates have increased by 30 to 60 percent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.5 Many women have been living in lockdown with an abusive partner and have been unable to seek support from expert organizations, friends, loved ones and colleagues.

Research shows that IPV comes with key warning signs. If these signs can be detected earlier, we may be able to recognize it better and seek or offer help.6 YSL Beauty aims to do its part in raising awareness of these common signs.

Abuse is Not Love is built around three key pillars: funding academic research on the topic to develop thought-leadership around youth and prevention; educating 2 million people on the common signs of IPV through international partnerships; and training YSL Beauty employees and beauty advisors on Intimate Partner Violence in the workplace.  

Supporting women, especially when it comes to their independence, is central to the way the brand acts. Intimate Partner Violence hinders the safety, wellbeing and independence of women,” says Stephan Bezy, International General Manager, Yves Saint Laurent Beauty. “It therefore felt very natural to work on an issue that stood in opposition to our core values and beliefs.”

Abuse is Not Love has launched as a global program with 3 key partnerships in 2020: En Avant Toute(s) in France, Women’s Aid in the UK, and It’s on Us in the U.S., with more partnerships coming in 2021 in other countries. Through these partnerships, YSL Beauty aims to raise awareness of the seriousness of IPV in order to contribute to meaningful change. By 2030, YSL’s objective is to educate two million people around the world on IPV through its partnership with local non-profits.

Dr. Beth Livingston, a US-based gender and diversity academic who has conducted research as part of the Abuse is Not

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Roxanne Petraeus On Transitioning From Combat In Afghanistan To Leading A Startup That Combats Sexual Harassment

There are 17.4 million veterans in the United States, according to the most recent statistics of the U.S. Census. Of these 17.4 million, about 10% are women. Like the military, tech is also heavily male-dominated, with only 11% of VC partners being women and less than 3% of VC money going to female founders. One woman who understands the challenges of both worlds is Roxanne Bras Petraeus, a 34-year-old veteran who is now the co-founder and CEO of Ethena — a NYC-based startup that provides modern corporate training for sexual harassment prevention. 

Bras Petraeus grew up in Central Florida and studied Economics at Harvard, where she received a scholarship from the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC). 

“Both of my parents had served in the military,” Bras Petraeus told me in an interview. “Even though I had never envisioned myself in uniform, I decided to give it a try.”

She met her future husband, Stephen Petraeus, in 2006, when they were both cadets at MIT’s ROTC unit. They were then commissioned as Army officers and served together in Afghanistan in 2010 under General Petraeus, Stephen’s father. 

“I really liked certain aspects of the military,” Bras Petraeus added. “The discipline, the physical components, the community. I also had a love/hate relationship with the military’s unique ability to get me out of my comfort zone.”

A Born Leader

Her military career took her across the globe. In addition to Afghanistan, Bras Petraeus worked as a Civil Affairs Officer in Cambodia and Mongolia, on projects such as training with non-U.S. militaries and disaster preparedness. In between her various military deployments, she managed to squeeze in a Masters in International Relations at the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

The capacity to learn, adapt and show immeasurable resilience during uncertain times are all traits that make great Army officers, but also great entrepreneurs.

“Given the chaos of 2020, one of the biggest military skills that I rely on now as CEO is leading during uncertainty,” Bras Petraeus said. “I served with excellent soldiers and officers who showed me that great leaders stay calm in crises precisely because they are such important moments, versus feeling like a crisis requires the leader to be loud and act impulsively.”

Bras Petraeus became the CEO of Ethena, which she co-founded with Anne Solmssen, in August 2019. 

Culture Change

The main purpose of Ethena, according to the founders, is to provide modern corporate training for sexual harassment prevention that is both effective and engaging, with a focus on culture change, not just compliance. 

“I had always found the concept of ‘check-the-box’ training to be strange,” Bras Petraeus said. “Why would we sit in hours of training that everyone knew to be ineffective? I saw this in the military and

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History of Combat Boots And Their Role In Fashion

Combat boots have become much of a common place amongst the military organizations around the world. The first soldiers that were issued them were the foot soldiers of the Assyrians, they wore hobnail boots called caligae.

Soldiers in the English Civil war were issued 3 sets of these special footwear and would change them after every march to be sure that each was worn in evenly. Instead of laces these had buckles that were used by most armies during that period in time.

The Napoleonic wars saw the first set of lace up combat boots and were issued to replace the older buckle shoes. The first issued by the Americans were lace up ankle boots. These however had no left or right shoe. They were instead intended to shape themselves around the soldier’s feet. These boots were both uncomfortable and cause a lot of blisters.

The next official set of US boots came during WWII. They were part of the M-1943 uniform ensemble. With this issue the Americans were back to the double buckled which they would keep until 1948. During the Vietnam War the US was back to lace ups made specifically for jungle warfare.

Current United States combat boots are available in two differing styles. The first is a 2.5 lb temperate weather boot and the second is a 2 lb hot weather. Current manufacturers of United States combat boots include Altama, Bates, Belleville Shoe, McRae, Rocky, Warson, Converse and Wellco. All branches of the military use a tan rough out except the Air Force who uses a foliage green suede.

In recent history combat boots have found a new genre of people looking to buy them outside of the military. With the invasion of the goth, punk, and industrial, kids ones have become much more of a mainstream accessory. They have become a fashion statement for a large portion of the population of American youth.

Many people who choose combat boots for fashion want the real thing which creates an authentic and vintage look and feel. As a result you can buy them at pretty much any military surplus store or online at several different retailers.

Beyond fashion, some people also wear them simply because they are so durable and long lasting. They can be worn for long periods of time in any conditions which makes them ideal for many industries even outside of the military.

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