Everything That Upset the Internet This Week

What is the web-o-sphere angry about this week? A handful of laws that threaten female reproductive rights, a YouTuber who’s abusing his influence over others and a television show that faces its final episode. Here’s everything you need to know:

Anti-Abortion Laws Sweep the United States

THE STORY: Over this past week, the world has watched as a wave of American states have moved towards stricter abortion laws. Under Roe v. Wade—the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that granted all American citizens the right to obtain an abortionthe procedure is still very much legal in all 50 states. The goal of extreme anti-abortion laws passed in states like Georgia, Alabama and Missouri is to be challenged and eventually taken to the Supreme Court, so that Roe v. Wade might be overturned.

THE REACTION:

RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE RAGE: Anti-abortion laws will never stop abortions. They will, however, force pregnant people—especially those from marginalized communities—from receiving abortions safely and free of stigma. Consider this tweet from former first daughter Chelsea Clinton:

“Pre-Roe, >1 million women annually had illegal abortions. Women inserted bleach, turpentine, knitting needles, scissors & hangers into themselves & threw themselves down stairs. Every year, >200 women died & thousands more suffered serious injuries from botched illegal abortions.”

Whether or not these laws are put into practice, the fact that they passed at all will likely have a huge effect on attitudes towards abortion. The language used in these bills is extremely dangerous: in Alabama’s bill, for example, abortion is compared to a number of historical genocides. Words like those, particularly when given power through government, can fill women with unnecessary shame and cause them to question their reproductive rights. Not just in America, but globally.

Makeup YouTuber James Charles Loses Over 3 Million Subscribers

THE STORY: In an explosive 43-minute video, YouTuber Tati Westbrook “exposed” her close friend, James Charles, alleging that he uses his “fame, power and money” to manipulate those around him. The drama saga started during Coachella, when Charles posted an ad for Sugar Bear Hair, a huge competitor of Westbrook’s brand, Halo Beauty.

But Westbrook took her criticism of Charles far beyond personal pettiness, with her most concerning claim being that the former Covergirl ambassador has a history of sexual predation toward straight men. “You know, it’s really disgusting to manipulate someone’s sexuality, especially when they are still emerging into adulthood and don’t have everything quite figured out,” she said. “You are using your fame, your power, your money to play with people’s emotions. You’re threatening to ruin them. You’re threatening to embarrass them. And you’re doing that to have them behave sexually in your favour, even if they’re straight. And you know what? That’s not okay.”

THE REACTION:

RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE RAGE: James Charles has hugely influenced the blurring of gender lines within the beauty industry. He has, without a doubt, inspired many young men and women to explore makeup and express their true selves. Being a shitty friend shouldn’t change that. Abusing that power over others, however, does.

Fans Are Petitioning For a Remake of Game of Thrones Final Season

THE STORY: Season 8, Episode 5 of Game of Thrones disappointed most of the series’ superfans. Viewers felt that the show’s writers, David Benioff and DB Weiss, destroyed seven seasons of careful character building in a single fire-filled episode, and in doing so, they “have proven themselves to be woefully incompetent.” This, at least, is how the people who created a Change.org petition feel. The petition, which demands a complete do-over of the show’s final season “with competent writers,” has now been signed by over one million people.

THE REACTION:

RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE RAGE: Television is not fan service—but I empathize with this anger. Here’s hoping D&D use the final episode to prove us all wrong.